Rafael Nadal sets Novak Djokovic clash at Roland Garros 2022

‘Close to the best I’ve seen him play’ – John McEnroe wowed by Rafa Nadal display

Grand Slam legend John McEnroe was left amazed by some of the play he saw from the 21-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal against Novak DJokovic, claiming it was “close to the best I’ve ever seen him play.”

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic played out a four-hour epic on Tuesday which the Spaniard eventually won 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(4) to set up a semi-final clash with Alexander Zverev.

The 35-year-old got off to a flying start as he went up a set and a double break before Djokovic stormed back to level the match at one set each.

However, Nadal reasserted himself and showed typical grit and determination to claim the third set after letting Djokovic level proceedings.

Interestingly, It was the world number one who started strongest in the fourth, but Nadal saved two set points before forcing a fourth set tie-break.

Nadal took the initiative and powered his way to victory in a one-sided tie-break.

What makes the win even more remarkable for Nadal is the fact it was the Spaniard’s second consecutive match of four-plus hours.

After defeating Felix Auger-Aliassime on Sunday after four hours and 20 minutes, he moved past Djokovic in four hours and 11 minutes.

Rafael Nadal entered the Paris Slam under a cloud of doubt due to his chronic foot injury and played just two clay events prior to Roland Garros after a six-week layoff due to a rib fracture. He looked as fit as ever, though, as he improved to 15-1 in the French Open quarter-finals.

Reflecting on Nadal’s win in the epic battle, former world number one and Grand Slam great John McEnroe heaped praise on Rafael Nadal stating, “Wow! What’s his record here, 109 and 3? 107 and 3.

“He’s going to turn 36 on Friday. I can’t recall, I can’t remember seeing him play as well as this. It is as close to the best I’ve seen him play.”

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