Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal staged a scandalous semi-final in Montreal 2007. Nadal had beaten Djokovic three times in the previous months, and the Serb was eager to change that in Canada and advance in the title clash. Novak beat Rafa 7-5 6-3 in one hour and 51 minutes to reach the final in his Canadian Masters debut.
Djokovic became the third Under-20 player with three Masters 1000 finals in a single season after Marat Safin and Rafael Nadal. Novak defended all eight of his break chances and kept the pressure on the other side. Rafa broke once in each set to hand victory to his rival and end the campaign in the semi-final.
Djokovic is the more aggressive player, shooting 25 winners and forcing Nadal’s 30 errors. The Serb created a huge gap in the shorter range of up to four shots and dominated the Spaniard in the longer ones to seal the deal and advance to the final.
Rafa fended off a break chance at 1-2 early on with a forehand winner and brought it home with a service winner. Djokovic served well and opened up a 4-3 lead before Nadal got the next one with a powerful crosscourt backhand.
Novak fended off three break points at 5-5 to stay on the positive side and gain momentum. He forced Rafa’s error in the twelfth game to earn a break and close out the match. Djokovic had to work hard on his serve in the second set, fending off one break point opportunity in the first game and four more at 1-1.
He did not have problems with the service again, and the pressure was on Nadal. Rafa served at 3-4 and sliced to break and put the world No. 3 ahead. Djokovic served to win game nine and held love to seal the deal in style and advance to the third straight Masters 1000 hard court final.
Fritz speaks about Djokovic
Novak Djokovic has been the subject of heated discussions over the last few weeks as the tennis season heads towards the US Open. “It’s tough. I think on one side of it, like I think it’s tough to make certain exceptions to the rules for certain people.
I don’t know how I feel about that, but then, at the same time, it’s like, I mean, we’re not the most COVID-safe country in general with, you know, how we are doing things. So it does seem like, you know, what’s the harm of letting the best player in the world come play the US Open?” Taylor Fritz said.
“It’s good for every player if Novak is not in the draw,” he said with a smile. “I don’t know. Novak is one of the only people on tour that I have never beaten, so I don’t know”.