Novak Djokovic to face Rafael Nadal in blockbuster final

Monte-Carlo Masters
By Rajesh Srinivasan, April 22nd, 2012

The semi finals at Monte Carlo on Saturday featured the top two players facing players who had upset the odds previously on Friday.

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic to face Rafal Nadal in the finals of Monte-Carlo Masters

The matches were played in windy conditions and Djokovic took 2 hours and 42 minutes to win 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 against Berdych while Nadal beat Gilles Simon 6-3, 6-4.

Djokovic was under the fire losing the first set 6-4 to Berdych after leading 4-2 at the beginning. Novak faced 2 break points in the first game in the second set. This was a long game where both players were unable to close out at game point. Finally Djokovic held and raised his hands pointing to the heavens. After the passing of his grandfather early in the week, Djokovic struggled to focus during his earlier matches but seemed to be more in control in this match and his concentration was better too.

After holding to 1-0, Djokovic broke serve and then overcame more breakpoints to hold to 3-0. Thereafter Djokovic was in control and served out the set at 6-3. The third set Djokovic dominated to lead 4-0 at the start and won the match closing out the set 6-2. The first half hour in the second semi final saw Gilles Simon take the initiative and the ball early to match Nadal shot for shot. Nadal seemed in trouble at 3-3, 15-40 on serve but fought back to hold serve. This was a crucial phase and Nadal soon broke serve to 5-3 and then served out the first set at 6-3.

The second set saw Nadal break early with some trademark forehands but was in trouble on serve with multiple breakpoints but saved them all with gutsy tennis including a wonderful drop shot to get back to deuce. Nadal then held to 3-1. Nadal wasted chances at a double break and Simon closed the gap to 2-3.Simon fought hard the rest of the time but could not break serve with Nadal serving out the match at love. Simon was unable to convert any of the 7 break opportunities he had on Nadal’s serve. Nadal has now won 41 matches in a row at Monte Carlo and will face his big rival on Sunday.

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