‘Rafael Nadal lost set 6-1 and pushed even harder,’ Novak Djokovic recalls

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal had been the opponents within the 2008 Olympic Games semi-final, fighting for a spot within the last and a medal. Rafa prevailed 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 in two hours and 11 mins to stay at the gold medal direction.

The Spaniard overcame the second one set failure and delivered a past due spoil within the decider to advance into the identify conflict and beat Novak for the 10th time in 14 conferences. Thirteen days previous, Djokovic ended Nadal’s streak of 32 consecutive victories, and he appeared excellent to defeat the Spaniard once more in Beijing following an outstanding efficiency in set quantity two.

As a real champion, a soon-to-become international no. 1 Nadal raised his stage once more within the 3rd set and crossed the end line to set the gold medal conflict in opposition to Fernando Gonzalez. Novak had extra winners and unforced mistakes. He stayed in contact with Rafa within the shortest vary as much as 4 strokes and toppled him in essentially the most prolonged exchanges to take 4 issues greater than his rival.

Still, it was once now not sufficient to propel him excessive after taking part in a free carrier recreation within the decider’s last phases. Djokovic repelled 3 spoil probabilities within the opening recreation and fired an ace in recreation 3 to open a 2-1 hole.

Nadal broke at 2-2 with a forehand down the road winner and once more in recreation seven because of Djokovic’s double fault for an enormous merit. Novak pulled one spoil again in recreation 8 and held to scale back the space to 5-4.

Novak Djokovic lost to Rafael Nadal in 3 units on the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Serving for the set for the second one time within the 10th recreation, Rafa held at 30 to say the opener and achieve an enormous spice up.

Eager to go away the whole lot at the courtroom, Novak took rate in the second one set and raced right into a 3-0 lead. He hit a carrier winner two video games later for a 4-1 merit, taking a look excellent to increase the struggle. The Serb broke once more within the 6th recreation with a backhand winner and fired some other at 5-1 to wrap up the set and achieve a spice up.

Both gamers served neatly within the 3rd set’s opening 8 video games, with extra drama assured in the remainder of the conflict. In the 9th recreation, Nadal pressured Djokovic’s mistake to transport 5-4 up and extended the following one. The Serb fended off the primary fit level prior to the Spaniard transformed the second one following Novak’s horrible wreck to have fun an enormous victory and advance into the gold medal fit.

“Loss is something you never wish to happen, but that’s a part of the sport. I have had a great tournament, reaching the semi-final and playing well despite finishing on the losing side. I played aggressive tennis in the second set and parts of the first and third.

My game is all about that, and I hope to use that tomorrow. It was a terrible miss in the final point; you must win those without thinking. My legs stopped, and people were screaming during my smash shots. Now I must push myself to think positively and give my best tomorrow.

I will be thrilled if I win the bronze; this is a special event you will remember for the rest of your life. I expected Rafa to make a comeback and raise his level; that’s why he is No. 1. He has been the best player this season and is very strong mentally.

When you win a set 6-1 against Rafa, he wants to change something and play on a higher level in the following set. I expected that and tried to maintain my momentum and an aggressive approach. We both fought well in the final set until that tenth game when he broke me,” Novak Djokovic stated.

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