PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal beats Novak Djokovic to reach Madrid Open final

Four-time champion Rafael Nadal advanced through to the final of the Madrid Open this afternoon courtesy of a 6-2, 6-4 victory over former world number one Novak Djokovic.

There was a huge difference between Rafa and his opponent from Serbia in the quality of tennis during the opening set in the Spanish capital. Djokovic started playing much better in the second set, but thankfully not good enough to steal Rafa’s momentum in front of his adoring Spanish fans.

Rafa won his last Madrid Open title in 2014 when Kei Nishikori retired hurt in the final, and our champ went on to claim a record-extending ninth French Open title. He will face either Dominic Thiem or Pablo Cuevas in Sunday’s final.

More to follow…


  1. OLA OLA OLA OLA & VAMOS SWEETHEART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ): ) BRILLIANT FIGHT SWEETHEART & A CLASSY VICTORY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) ; ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) VAMOS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) GREAT FEISTY OPENING SETS : 2:0 and 2 :0 …..wi….wi….wi…..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) CONGRATULATIONS DEAR RAFA !!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) Striking & swift & powerful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) BY THE WAY, I vividly remember last year as you were building your precious wins match by match on HARD COURT & THEN ON CLAY,, you were interviewed over & over about the future…..and as usual, you were realistically saying that you were happy with the way you were playing, developing, and THEN, I swear to GOD, I KNEW that YOU KNEW IN YOUR GUT that YOU WOULD BE LEADING again. BUT YOU WERE INTELLIGENT ENOUGH TO KEEP IT SIMPLY MODEST……..but by now, I recognize your own opinion on your TENNIS , and at the end of the day, THAT IS ALL THAT MATTERS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) ENJOY IT ALL SWEET RAFA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) YOU ARE A CHAMPION INSIDE OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) WE LOVE YOU & RESPECT YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) TIME & TIME AGAIN SWEETHEART, YOU ARE MAGICAL WITH YOUR BRILLIANT PASSION and INTELLIGENCE ON THE COURT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) Very happy for you DEAR RAFA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) We had so much fun watching YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) I LOST MY VOICE SCREAMING VAMOS & GO RAFA GO…………………………………and let me add my cheeks are feeling the ON GOING SMILES……. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) Have a great evening sweetheart , and enjoy celebrating your beautiful hard work and outstanding delivery!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) DEEP INSIDE, I AM CONVINCED YOU MUST KNOW IN YOUR HEART THAT YOU ARE A BRIGHT, POWERFUL , FEISTY, TOP FIGHTER, BRILLIANT & RARE UNIQUE MAGICAL PLAYER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) THE GOAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) BY FAR CHAMPION, YOU ARE TENNIS FANS MOST FAVORITE EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) YOUR SPORTSMANSHIP PLUS ALL THESE INCREDIBLE INGREDIENTS AT YOUR SKILL FOUNTAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) YOU CAN TAKE TIME FOR SWEET DREAMS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) ci….ci…….. MUCH TO BE PROUD DEAR RAFA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) Have fun with THE TEAM & KEEP SMILING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) YOUR DIMPLES ARE AS ADORABLE AS YOUR MAGICAL COURT PRESENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) SO HAPPY FOR YOU & YOUR SOLID TOP TOP TOP CLASSY TENNIS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) Have a nice time and a beautiful tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) It will be another great day for Tennis fun & it will be a great match for you !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) Have lots & lots of fun playing your beautiful TENNIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) ci……….ci….& ci SENIOR SWEETHEART !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) We love seeing you playing point by point and keeping your beautiful focus on the next point!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) 🙂 Your magic and moves on the court are stunning & you look beautiful out there …….it is unbelievably thrilling to watch each point you play!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) Sending a huge massive congratulation and lots of love & happiness!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : )

  2. This news has made my Saturday even better!

  3. Wow and a half! When Rafa served for the match and the score reflected advantage, Novak, I had to take a really deep breath. That volley to bring the score back to deuce was so brave and unbelievable for Rafa! I didn’t leave the room at that point, I was able to control my emotion. The next point was advantage and a glorious match win for Rafa, indeed! What a splendid display of tactics and shot-making.

    Rafa was just so masterful throughout the entire match. He just dug in on every singe point.
    I have to also congratullate Uncle Toni and Carlos Moya for their exceptional guidance, support and belief in Spain’s pride and joy, the ultimate warrior and greatest clay court player in the history of the sport. So over the moon for Rafa, his team and family, (his girlfriend is part of the family!)

    Wishing Rafa all the best for the final! Vamos!!!

  4. Well that had to be the most pleasurable tennis match I’ve watched in at least 4 years.

    We have all waited so so so long for this.

    I expected a win, but not a demolition job! That made it even more fun. It has to be said that Djok is still nowhere near his best (or even his middle level) but all credit to Rafa for not letting him find anything.

    Djok breifly came on strong early in the 2nd set (won about 7 straight points, and broke Rafa) but Rafa came back at him immediately.
    More specifically, Rafa has figured out and corrected most of the weaknesses Djok exploited in the past.
    His serve is just so much better now. And Rafa’s playing so much more agressively, going for more winners, was not allowing Djok to control the court.
    It was a thing of beauty to behold.

    I think Rafa is fully back, and unless he gets injured again, should rise back to #1 (will take awhile due to point spread.) Yes, even with Fed on a hot streak.

  5. A huge psychological boost for Rafa to beat Djokovic again at last. He really is the undisputed King of Clay.

  6. At last the losing streak against Djokovic has been broken !! I am so relieved for Rafa. If he is too exhausted to win the title to-morrow I am sure he will still be a happy man. ( but it would be wonderful if he could manage it.)
    Here’s hoping he has a good rest to-night and he doesn’t have a long practice session to-morrow.
    Toni and Carlos, give him a break to-morrow…He needs rest .!!!

  7. Rafa has shown to everybody who was watching today who the top dog is. Barry and Gregg​ are still fighting over that spot Lol. You’re know what I mean Susie

    • Indeed I do maria. I’m just so happy. It was like the old days pre 2015 when we could just relax most of the time as rafa was too good and even when he was down he was never out. I’m getting those feelings back again and it’s great. Looking forward to the final tomorrow

  8. congratulations this victory was mentally so important for you and a test and you pass that test. Now i can say without a doubt that you are back.

    I see nadal the absolute favorite at the french open. His 2 fierce competitors are djokovic and wawrinka. Wawrinka always seems to play his best tennis at grandslams instead of regular tournaments and with djokovic you never know.

    Krygios and thiem are in my opinion the outsiders

    • At this point I don’t consider either Djok or Waw competition for Rafa.
      Thiem and Goff are def the best up and comers on clay, but you saw what Rafa did to them in 3 sets. Imagine 5.
      Roger? LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      I don’t think he has real competition on clay at this point, unless Waw surprises.

  9. Bravo!!!! Shapoo…Rafa…enhorabuena por lleguar a l final y por vencer a Novak….eres el mejor de todos los tiempos…sabia k lo conseguirias….sigue adelante…t seguimos y apoyamos….VAMOS!!!!!!!

  10. In your face Nole!
    That 7 matches streak happened when Rafa was in his worst time of his career and what now??
    Wind of change…
    Vamos! Go get’em !

    • Knowing how much Rafa loves the water you need to change that to how the tides have turned Lol

  11. Hearty congratulations Rafa! Never let up with the intensity. Great match. Rafa seemed very relieved at the end. The tide has turned. Good luck in the final!

  12. Congrats Rafa!!! Could barely watch and was marking time in the 2nd set.

    Anyway it was apparent what an impact, mental impact djokovic has on Rafa. He was anxious and his relief and joy at winning was so great – much more than any match since the clay season.

    You can always do it Rafa no matter who the player is even if they are at their best level.

    Believe, believe, believe in yourself!!!!


  13. Rafa, you knew like I knew you would beat him. GREAT GOING! At the Australian Open you showed the world of sport what you would be doing in 2017. Toni, Moya and the family must be ecstatic.


  14. Sky commentators yesterday said that Roger was in Dubai practising on clay courts and will let everyone know in 6 days whether he’s playing roland garros. So watch this space. Can’t wait for rafa to beat him if he does. Wishing rafa luck for his final tomorrow.

  15. YES you did it dear Rafa ❤️ I knew you could do it 😍👏🏻
    Huge Congratulations to you champ 🤴🏻😘 – This is sooo AWESOME 😃👍🏻
    Now on to the finals – The best if luck to you 🍀🤞🏻🤗

    VAMOOS!! 🎾💪🏼😅

  16. Congratulations to Rafa and all Rafa fans! We’ve been waiting for this day for too long! Rafa, best luck tomorrow! Nothing, nothing can stop you! Love, respect, and gratitude.

  17. Revenge is best served cold and is so very sweet – straight sets too. Who said rafa should retire? Always have faith. Excellent and incredible rafa – very well done

    • Hehe happy day! Susie

      Elsewhere i wrote revenge is a dish best served hot in madrid!

      It was so so sweet, and we waited so so so long for it.
      Well anything you waith this long for is usually better for the waiting.

      • It is indeed a glorious feeling rafalite. For a while in the 2nd set there were glimpses of the old novak and some great points but they didn’t last too long and that’s because rafa totally out played him. I’m sure Roger is watching and I am very interested to see if he will play roland garros. Possibly he will as I reckon he will think he can beat rafa there as he’s in rafa’s head now. I’m hoping rafa puts all that happened in the last few months with roger well and truly behind him and if they do meet there that rafa blasts him off the court. I will happily dream about that over the next few weeks.

    • Hi Susie,

      Reply here to your reply to me:
      I had exactly the same thoughts in the 2nd set–I actually got worried for the first time because how often have we seen Rafa get off to a great start against a half-awake Djok, only to have Djok come on full force later and subdue Rafa?
      That’s one of my worst mightmares. But not this time!

      As for Roger thinking he may be able to beat Rafa at RG … who knows? All we know is what we hear from commies and pundits, speculating. Roger was never as good as even Djok or Waw on clay, nevermind Rafa.
      I don’t really care one way or another–in a way I’d like him there to tire him for Wimb, and also to see Rafa beat him. But I wouldn’t like him there if Rafa has to go into RG seeded 5th. I know the win today will get him to #4, but if he makes an early exit in Rome he could lose that, I think.
      He should go into RG seeded 4th. Still so wrong! Meanwhile the incredibly weak (at the moment) Murray sits protected, and usually gets the now equally weak Wawrinka in his half.
      The draws have been bad as a result of Rafa’s underanking, but oh well …

      What i wonder about is whether Rafa should skip Wimb, if he wins RG. But I used to disparrage all those fans who had opinions on how to manage Rafa’s sched., so I better not go there.

  18. Vamoooooooossssss!!! So happy for Rafa! Waiting for three years for a win against Novak! Take rest and than good luck for the final! Vamos Rafa!!!

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