Tennis Freaks

“1821: Nadal, I’ve noticed, has a problem with his shorts, in that they keep on getting stuck up his jacksie and he has to pull them out before every point. Not sure why he doesn’t just get a size up, he’s probably loaded.”

Nadal v Djokovic as it happened

 

Wimbledon semi-final result: R NADAL (Spa) 2 v N DJOKOVIC (Ser) 4

3-6 6-1 4-1

DJOKOVIC CONCEDES THE MATCH THIRD SET

Nadal 3-6 6-1 4-1 Djokovic
Nadal breaks again as Djokovic looks to be struggling. The Serb calls for the trainer a second time but decides he can’t continue and concedes the match. Surely there must be more troubling him than a blistered little toe? All will be revealed, I’m sure.

Nadal 3-6 6-1 3-1 Djokovic
Nadal hits the fastest serve of the match so far – an unplayable 130mph effort – and closes out with his fourth ace. Djokovic is looking a little stiff and deflated again.

Nadal 3-6 6-1 2-1 Djokovic
Djokovic hits a wild forehand way out of court to gift Nadal break point at 30-40, and the Mallorcan snaps it up. Surely nothing can stop him now.

Nadal 3-6 6-1 1-1 Djokovic
Nadal hits a blistering down-the-line winner at full stretch for 40-0 as he levels, but Djokovic looks more mobile now, more committed to longer rallies.

Nadal 3-6 6-1 0-1 Djokovic
Djokovic survives two break points at 15-40. Maybe that nice long sit down while he was receiving treatment has done him the world of good.

1328: The trainer duly arrives and the NoDjo right sock is removed to reveal a nasty looking wound on the little toe. Our Boris reckons if that’s the only problem, Djokovic should pull himself together and get on with it.

“Nadal is the man in charge, he’s the captain of the boat now.”
BBC Sport analyst Boris Becker comes over all nautical

SECOND SET

Nadal 3-6 6-1 Djokovic
Nadal is playing the winning drop shots now as he closes out the set. Djokovic calls for the trainer at the changeover, but he’s currently attending to Richard Gasquet on Centre Court, apparently. A brief intermission ensues.

Nadal 3-6 5-1 Djokovic
The belief is draining from Djokovic’s game as Nadal breaks him again. The Serb is increasingly playing hit-and-hope shots against an increasingly confident Nadal.

Nadal 3-6 4-1 Djokovic
This set is heading the Spaniard’s way, but he still finds time to have a go at Swiss umpire Andreas Egli at the changeover over his performance in the chair. I told you not to make him angry…

Nadal 3-6 3-1 Djokovic
Limping and feeling his back (also troublesome), Djokovic is relying on his serve to get him through, but surely it’s not going to be enough, even against a Nadal who is still not completely in the zone.

“I’m afraid to say that Djokovic is thinking about quitting. He’s shaking his head and just moving forward anymore.”
BBC Sport analyst Boris Becker

Nadal 3-6 3-0 Djokovic
It looks like Nadal’s time has come in this semi-final as he wins 40-15 to go 3-0 up. He’s still making the odd unforced error but the force is surely with him now.

Nadal 3-6 2-0 Djokovic
The turning point. Djokovic thinks he has the game won but Nadal challenges a baseline call and this time Hawk-Eye is on his side. He earns breakpoint and converts it with a smash at the net. Boy is he pumped up now.

Nadal 3-6 1-0 Djokovic
Nadal looks be stepping up a gear as he belts a double-handed cross-court winner to take the opening game on his own serve. What he needs to do is make Djokovic chase around a bit more as he clearly doesn’t want to.

FIRST SET

Nadal 3-6 Djokovic
With his serve working well, Djokovic closes out the set. An ace is challenged by Nadal but Hawk-Eye favours the Serb. Don’t make Rafa cross, whatever you do – have you seen the size of those arms?

Nadal 3-5 Djokovic
Nadal is definitely finding form as he cruises through his latest service game, hitting one powerful forehand winner that even a fully mobile Djokovic wouldn’t have got anywhere near.

Nadal 2-5 Djokovic
Djokovic seals the game with a fantastic backhand drop shot that just clears the net. BBC commentator Simon Reed detects an “old-fashioned” look from Nadal at the changeover which suggests he feels the Serb might not be as injured as he’s making out…

Nadal 2-4 Djokovic
Nadal is gradually feeling his way into the match as he holds comfortably, but it may be too late to save the set.

Nadal 1-4 Djokovic
Djokovic holds serve with relative ease – you get the feeling he really needs to win this first set to stand a chance of reaching the final. If Nadal recovers to take it, I fear it could be over in three.

Nadal 1-3 Djokovic
Nadal is still not firing on all cylinders but manages to hold. Djokovic is clearly in some discomfort but is coming up with some delightful drop shots as Nadal stays back. I predict this will not be another five-set marathon.

Nadal 0-3 Djokovic
Nadal is making a slow start, as he does sometimes, hitting three errors on his returns and then watching a Djokovic ace whistle past him.

Nadal 0-2 Djokovic
Then again… Nadal is broken at the first time of asking as Djokovic races to 0-40 before the Spaniard wins a point. The Serb wins it on the next.

Nadal 0-1 Djokovic
Oh, dear. Djokovic holds his opening serve but only after saving three break points and is clearly troubled by his sore foot. He’s trying not to get drawn in to long rallies with Nadal, who can sense his opponent is struggling.

1210: Nadal, 21, has a 4-1 head-to-head record against his 20-year-old opponent, including a straight-sets victory in this year’s French Open semi-finals, but this is their first encounter on grass.

1205: The players are knocking up on Court One in conditions which are dry, sunny and far less windy than on Friday. Pre-match gossip has it that Djokovic may be nursing a foot injury, but we’ll see…

“Djokovic is super fit and mentally as tough as they come, but he’ll need to be at 150% against Nadal.”
BBC Sport analyst John McEnroe

This mouth-watering match-up between two of the hottest young guns in men’s tennis has to be the pick of Saturday’s semi-finals at Wimbledon.

Despite his moans about this week’s rain-hit schedule, Spanish second seed Nadal will be fresher after easing past Tomas Berdych 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 6-2.

Djovokic also looked to be cruising into the final four at two sets to love up against Marcos Baghdatis, but the Serb fourth seed eventually needed five hours to see off the Cypriot 7-6 7-6 6-7 4-6 7-5.

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