Djokovic’s gift to unsettle threatens Rafael Nadal’s kingdom

Rafael Nadal has owned Roland Garros for nearly all of his career. Whether Novak Djokovic can take over the lease on Sunday afternoon depends on two factors: the Spaniard’s desire and the Serb’s neck.



a man hitting a ball with a racket: Photograph: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images


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Photograph: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images

Through six matches there has been no sign of the champion’s will waning, as he has battled to win every set. Whether Djokovic’s body – particularly that area stretching down from the top of his spine to the tips of his fingers – can hold up under championship pressure is less certain, whatever the strength of his fightback to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas over five sets in the second semi-final on Friday night. Nadal’s earlier dismissal of Diego Schwartzman had its anxious moments, but there was little doubt he would prevail.



a man hitting a ball with a racket: Rafael Nadal’s dismissal of Diego Schwartzman in the semi-final had its anxious moments, but there was little doubt he would prevail.


© Photograph: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images
Rafael Nadal’s dismissal of Diego Schwartzman in the semi-final had its anxious

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