In the 2006 Roland Garros quarter-final, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic played for the first time on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

It’s the young Serb’s first Major quarter-final, and he gave it his all against the defending champion, giving Nadal a run for his money before quitting after an hour and 54 minutes, trailing 6-4, 6-4.

After a brave effort by the Serb, Rafa won 20 points more than Novak and worked hard for each of them. Nadal was broken three times, but he converted half of his return points into five breaks, putting him up two sets to love.

Novak dropped serve in the first game of the match before rallying with a forehand to reclaim the break and put his name on the scoreboard. In game three, the Spaniard broke yet again, extending his lead to 3-1.

Novak served an ace to stay within one break of Rafa in the seventh game, and then sprayed a backhand error in the next to put Rafa ahead 5-3.

With a forehand winner, Djokovic took the ninth game, before Nadal held at love to win the opener in 47 minutes and gain a lift. The Spaniard earned a break at the start of the second set and won the second game at 15 to take a 2-0 lead.

Novak, who was struggling physically, hit a double fault in the third set, falling behind 3-0, and requested a trainer for his left thigh.

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Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. Source: theguardian.com

After losing to Nadal in Paris in 2006, Djokovic discussed turning match around

After losing some ground after the break, Rafa was broken in the fourth game before regaining Novak Djokovic’s serve after the Serb’s errant drop shot.

Nadal sprayed a forehand error in game six, handing the match to Djokovic, before holding at love in game eight with a forehand winner to take a 5-3 lead. At 5-4 in the set, the defending champion hit a service winner for a 15-point hold and a two-sets-to-love advantage.

Djokovic struck a weak backhand in the third set’s first game and elected to retire, allowing Nadal to go to the semis.

After the match, Djokovic remarked that Nadal struggled to read his strokes and did not appear to be unbeatable against him on the court.

Djokovic struck a weak backhand in the third set’s first game and elected to retire, allowing Nadal to go to the semis.

After the match, Djokovic remarked that Nadal struggled to read his strokes and did not appear to be unbeatable against him on the court.

“Rafa was not comfortable at the beginning. I think I had control of the match; I did not finish it the right way. For sure, Rafa is the best on this surface, but he’s not unbeatable. I could win today, as he did not know how to play against me,” Djokovic said according to reports on Tennis World USA.

Read More:  Djokovic discusses beating Nadal at Roland Garros

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