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Headed for a titanic tussle

The French Open men’s final between Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic was suspended due to rain for a second time on Sunday.

sports Updated: Jun 11, 2012 01:28 IST
Rafael Nadal,French Open,Novak Djokovic

The French Open men’s final between Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic was suspended due to rain for a second time on Sunday.

Nadal was leading 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 1-2 when the match referee called the players off the court.

The players were also off court for 35 minutes during the second set. With the forecast for the rest of the day looking rather bleak, organisers said they have contingency plans to continue the match on Monday.

The last time the men’s final was not completed on Sunday was in 1973, when bad weather did not allow for the showpiece match to be completed until Tuesday.

Djokovic fights back
Djokovic fought back from a 0-2 deficit in the third set to claim it 6-2. The Serb began to scamper around the court with increased impetus, while Nadal started to complain about the damp conditions.

The number one seed snatched three break points in the fifth game, and after wasting one he took the second as Nadal netted a forehand.

He then let out a roar after breaking for a second time before closing out the set, the first Nadal has dropped in the tournament.

Quick off the blocks
The Spaniard raced into a 3-0 lead in the opening set with two breaks of serve as his forehand pierced holes in Djokovic’s defensive armour.

Nadal, who is seeking a record seventh French Open title, had the opportunity to go 4-0 up, but missed a forehand wide allowing the Serb, who is bidding to win his fourth straight major, to force his way back into the tie.

After putting in the effort to get himself back in the set, Djokovic allowed Nadal to edge ahead again with a double fault at break point in the seventh game and he finished it off three games later with a forehand across court.

The second set began in a similar vein to the first with Djokovic losing his opening service game with a double fault on break point and then fighting back from 2-0 down to lead 3-2 as the drizzle began to fall on Court Philippe Chatrier.

The Serb tossed his racquet down in a show of petulance in the fifth game before exhibiting extraordinary sportsmanship to gift Nadal a point following a an incorrect line call when the rules called for it to be replayed.
Match will resume at 4.30 pm (IST) on Monday.

First Published: Jun 10, 2012 20:25 IST