French Open 2021: Novak Djokovic dodges Matteo Berrettini’s hammer, books a semifinal date with Rafael Nadal

Top seed Novak Djokovic survived a tough challenge from Italian Matteo Berrettini in the quarterfinals of the 2021 French Open.

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Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic

In a match full of drama, World No.1 Novak Djokovic came out as the victor against 9th seed Matteo Berrettini in the quarterfinals of the 2021 French Open. Djokovic defeated the Italian in four sets 6-3,6-2,6-7(5),7-5. The top seed will now lock horns with his arch nemesis Rafael Nadal in the semifinal of Friday. This will also be his 11th semifinal appearance at Roland Garros.

The first set started with Djokovic saving break point in the very first game. Berrettini was fired up and creating his chances but wasn’t unable to win the big points. He couldn’t convert the two break points he received and instead handed a break to Djokovic in the 4th game. The remainder of the set was on serve and Djokovic closed it out 6-3.

The second set was totally dominated by Djokovic. After a couple of holds each, the Serb struck and broke Berrettini to take a 4-2 lead. But he wasn’t finished. He thrashed the Italians with aggressive passes and broke him again. He eventually closed out the set 6-2 in 36 minutes.

Djokovic too good for Berrettini

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic

The third set started with the crowd getting behind Berrettini. The Italian was pumped with every point he took and was driving the crowd crazy. Both the players were serving very well and keeping the games short. Berrettini was hitting his infamous ‘hammer’ forehands and the set went to a tie breaker. Despite flawless tennis all set, Djokovic made two very costly errors, handing the Italian a well deserved set.

The Italian had the momentum coming into the fourth set but his stature fell as the spectators were asked to leave because of the curfew. Berrettini tried his best to stay relevant in the set and almost took it to a tie breaker. But a very agitated and fired up Djokovic converted his 3rd match point and won the set 7-5 to book a date with Rafael Nadal.

Also read: French Open 2021: Rafael Nadal survives Diego Schwartzman test, prevails in his 14th semifinal at Paris