Roland Garros 2021: Rafael Nadal loses to Novak Djokovic – match highlights [VIDEO]

Rafael Nadal’s latest bid for a 21st Grand Slam singles title ends with a battling four-set defeat by Novak Djokovic in Paris.

42 comments

  1. 1.rafa short balls allowed novak to get to baseline and play aggressive . usually rafa used to hit depp and dictate the points from baseline to opponent.
    2. The FHDTL shot which rafa often use in big matches was missing
    3. the BH of rafa which is so goood gave trouble to rafa
    4. the night conditions caused ball to bounce low and humidity caused rafa wearing down physically

    i think it was all physical aspect and condition if rafa would have physically right he would have pulled of this match because just few day ago he got win against novak in rome so confidence of beating novak was there alwz.

    i am 200 % sure rafa know what happened to him and he will find solutions in next RG
    rafa i think will skip 2021 wimbeldon even he played great match match against novak in semifinal in last edition of wimbeldon and i fell he for sure can win wimbeldon once again
    rafa will lift USO 2021
    rafa also i think wil skip AO 2022

    more power to you rafa …get rest and come stronger

  2. On a different note, what’s happened to Rafa’s serve ? Second serve especially ? 8 doublefaults ? Pretty much in every match ! Needs to get more kick on the 2nd serve – needs to be relaxed to serve well. That’s what’s lacking – relaxation – he’s been tense this whole clay season. Too much weight of expectation. Poor thing – doesnt handle expectation as well as Novak does – certainly these days. Too many doubts and tensions creeping in. Body wearing him down also perhaps. Hope he has a good rest on his lovely boat and returns to play Wimbledon. He can win it if he’s relaxed enough. I’m sure of it.

  3. I’m devastated by Rafa’s loss – and equally by Novak’s 19th GS win and double GS achievement at all slams. Vajda thinks Novak could win the calender slam this yr and a golden one is what they’re aiming at. Novak’s unshakeable self-belief is the foundation of his flawless game and astounding successes this last decade. His coach(es) must have had a lot to do with this unwaning self-belief and confidence. Contrast Vajda’s sweet and fatherly demeanour to Uncle Toni’s harsh and overly strict treatment of Rafa – his first GS French win at 19 on his debut attempt was brushed aside by Toni with a harsh putdown and squashing of celebrations ! Toni obstructed Rafa’s self-belief in gross and subtle ways, that has made Rafa a doubter – always wary of opponents even in early rounds at the French ! Leaving Toni at long last was the best thing for Rafa – Moya is so much kinder and psychologically astute.

  4. oh God! this pain won’t go away. i am still hurting so bad. i can’t keep myself away from tennis news and when i read the news . My heart starts aching again so bad. so blessed to have this beautiful community of rafa fans here. come here for solace. God bless u all and God bless our beloved Rafa….♥️

    • Rafan …Cheer Up! Don’t be sad for Rafa. He’s had an extraordinary, elite history breaking career! Rafa is going to go home to relax on his yacht… he’ll swim do some fishing and be surrounded by his loving supportive family. To lose after winning 13 times is hardly anything to be sad about! We should celebrate on all his record breaking achievements & be happy that he is still going strong! Be like Rafa … shrug it off & be ready for the next match!

      • thanks for your kind words ziggy. hoping i will come out of this depression soon. the final against federer in 2017 (aussie open) , semi final against djoker in wimbledon 2019. they all were heart breaking. but this pain is another level. it will take way longer to heal if ever ……..

  5. Rafa otra vez será, cometiste falta en punto cables y eso pasa factura pero SIEMPRE CONTIGO, eres mi deportista admirable y repestuoso,

  6. I kept replaying the match over and over in my head last night as I tried to get to sleep. This morning i feel mentally exhausted, just like many of you guys must do, but hey, our job now is to stay strong and to hope that Rafa has the mental and physical energy to regroup and fight again. As Mac said, the pressure and weight of expectation to win RG every time is off Rafa’s back and maybe he can play with more freedom now.

    My only consolation is to think that there is a twist in the tale and that Rafa’s loss makes it easier for Stefanos to win the final. I hope this thought becomes a reality and this young man lifts the trophy.

    All the very best to Rafa moving forward. Stay strong, champ.

    • am a huge Rafa Fan. What i have observed during the course of the match,

      Service—Huge let down
      Playing defensive—2nd set he shud have attacked more—Shud have come to net more often–same with 4th set when he was up 2-0
      So many missed opportunities during break points.

      Novak’s team know Rafa’s game in and out and have exploited it time & again. I hope Rafa changes his tactics especially against Novak.

      Winning Australian Open would be a Sweet Revenge and that would also make him having 2 slams at every event. Hope my dream comes true—Vamos!!!!!!!

  7. It is wonderful and comforting to read all the fans’ comments here after and even before. Didn’t write before the match because I didn’t have a good feeling.
    Hardly slept last night. Rafa’s loss against D too much, more so because I somehow feared it. So didn’t watch the match. Since Rafa’s victory in the last FO and more so after Rome this year I felt strongly that D was determined to come back and try to beat Rafa here. Watching Rafa play this year in the clay court season didn’t completely fill me with confidence. The serve was basically weak and his play wasn’t consistent enough. Flashes of brilliance and then poof. I sincerely hope he comes back stronger but … . Certainly hope he doesn’t consider retiring just yet. Ever since 2011 D has hounded him. That’s why I wanted so very much that Rafa could and would win matches by defeating D.
    I do t know how much I can expect from Tsitsipas- especially mentally in a final if a GS. Of course I wish he wins. Otherwise D gets the record win for at least 2 GS wins in all surfaces, a further GS win on the whole. From there he is dangerous enough to go ahead and win all the remaining GS’s of the year and emerge on top of the list of all time wins. I hope I’m completely wrong.

    So Rafa fans sorry about this gloomy not and let’s hope strongly that Rafa returns to fight another day and wins!!!!!

    Rafa you’ll always be the best for me. Thank you for all the marvellous times we’ve had watching you and going through it all ups and downs and we are all still here routing for you always!!!

    You can still do it! Believe that!!! I do even though I’m feeling low at the moment.
    Take care of yourself and rest well!

    Love you and VAMOS

    CMON!!!!

    👍🍀🍀🍀

    • A top player is a complete package. Great volley, weaker backhand, good footwork, less good stamina… so if Djokovic has a better serve then it’s something he relies on to win tournaments. Like Nadal’s determination and the spin he generates. No point saying ‘if only he had a double-handed backhand’, or ‘he’d be unbeatable if he had better dropshots’.

  8. I watch rafa press conference no big drama he blamed the conditions they were more in favor of Nole. He accepted the loss very rapidly no mention at all about his best serving and serving 8 double faults. No Journalist asked him about it.

    Rafa having a good serve is what is lacking him in matches against Djokovic. A good first and second serve will brought him more free points. Every service game of rafa was a big struggle but moreover 8 double fauls. Rafa is struggling with his serve the last few years.

    I hoped that Carlos Moya would worked with him on it but unfortunatly that is not the case. If Rafa is all about improving his game and stay competitive he should think about adding someone to his team who specifically can help him with improving his serve.

    • I think Rafa has a very good serve. It is not his biggest weapon but it is a much improved shot and Carlos has helped him to make those improvements. In my opinion, Rafa’s double faults at critical times are a result of him feeling tense under pressure, not because the serve itself is technically defective. Years ago, Rafa went through a phase where he couldn’t seem to hit through his forehand and a lot of forehands ended up short or in the net. He knew how to hit his forehand and did not need a new coach to tell him how to hit it. He needed to find a way to handle the tension and pressure that he was feeling at that time. Fortunately, he did but coping with tension and pressure does not get easier as one gets older. The King of Clay is expected to win every match he plays on clay, even against the toughest of opponents; so the pressure on Rafa is enormous, especially at the French Open. All tennis players have a shot which breaks down sometimes under pressure. With Rafa, it is his serve.

  9. So, after waking up Saturday morning… Rafa’s defeat is still painful.

    I feel sad for Rafa, but he will get over this and come back strong. As long as he has the fire and is willing to continue playing tennis, and his body is able, Rafa will bounce back.

    Is there a silver lining somewhere in this loss? I’m not sure, but maybe it might free up Rafa a little bit. The hold of expectation, that he must win all the time at RG, is now gone. He can start a new chapter now without the lofty expectations that surely must weigh him down.

    At least this loss didn’t happen in a final. So let Djokovic head on to play Tsitsipas who took him to 5 sets in last years semifinals:):)

    Rest up Rafa, and recover your body and soul. No matter what happens, we are always with you through the joys of victories and the pains of defeat.

    Now I need a big breakfast!

  10. Rafa bounced back after being beaten by Novak in those two horrendous Aussie Open final – the one where Novak walked all over him and the one where it was so horrendously close. And after being beaten by Roger in that very close Aussie Open final. And after various other heartbreaking defeats, even if they weren’t in Paris. Roger, Novak and everyone else have also bounced back after heartbreaking defeats. No-one, not even Rafa in Paris, can win every match. He’ll be back.

  11. Went to sleep after Rafa‘s loss. No thank you for the highlights. Came to read fans’ comments and they didn’t disappoint. Thank you for helping each other get passed this and for expressing how passionate we are about our Champion. Rafa is stuck with us, win or lose💪🎾🥰

    • Hi Margo,

      I went on my bike and I couldn’t believe it. 💪 Normally it takes a while for me to recover a big loss like today especially the opponent is ND, it takes even longer. I am proud of Rafa win or lose, no one can win it all and nothing is forever. I will say it again, enjoy the REAL champion while we can! Thank you Rafa!🙏🥰

    • Hi Mimi, if only we fans could make him half as happy as he’s made us. Wishing him all the best.

    • I agree with these sentiments. Rafa is a fantastic player but he is not a machine. The pressure on the King of Clay to win on clay is enormous and relentless and coping with it does not get easier with age. Let’s hope that he can regroup after this loss. Rafa is 35 though. We cannot expect him to carry on forever; much as we will all miss him terribly when he does eventually retire. We shall just have to make the most of whatever time he chooses to remain* on the Tour. (*I seem to recall that Rafa once said that he would not tour with a young family and he does hope to have children. That time may not be far off.)

  12. Rafa has won this tournament 13 times since he was a teen-ager. How significant is that? That remains and will always will be an outstanding and incredible achievement no one will ever match at any grand slam. Of course I was sad he lost today but I had a feeling Novak was out for blood especially demonstrated in match against Mateo in qtr-finals where he exhibited such super-aggressive behavior where he kicked the wall and letting out that primal scream which was just insane and rather weird! I know Novak is such a polarizing figure but it is Rafa the person and human being I admire the most before being a tennis professional believe it or not! His record here is astonishing and you can’t always win. He’ll have other opportunities! I always support and appreciate Rafa win or lose. Doesn’t matter to me! He is so much more than this one performance today! Rest up, Rafa! I loved watching you compete for the past 2 weeks. Thank you!

  13. I am hoping that the great Rafa withdraws from Wimbledon it is not his cup of tea and he deservers a rest we all love him a lot and know that he gave his all

  14. So….it has taken me awhile before I could express how I feel about this loss…

    We all watched it…. We all saw the moments that Rafa had his chances… You cannot lose those chances and expect to win the set… Novak converted when he needed to…
    Rafa’s missed shots…going wide…going long… along with his serve that wasn’t strong today, led me to think that Novak wasn’t winning it…. It was Rafa who was losing it…. (if that makes any sense)…

    I saw Rafa’s press conference and as usual he was open and honest. He gave credit where credit was due…. He did mention the heat and his fatigue and how the crowd pumped him up and gave him energy….

    I just want to say that this loss does not define him. We know who Rafa is… We love and adore him anyway whether he got #14 or not…. We will always pull for him and always stand behind him and cheer him on!! And the disappointment we feel, doesn’t stand up to how he feels tonight…

    I will be rooting for the young buck on Sunday as I am hoping it is his time to shine and raise the trophy….

    • Yes, Marileena, it makes sense. Rafa put up a good fight especially in the third set and he was so close winning it, but ND simply played better after he lost the first set.

      Honestly I am okay if Rafa finished his career with 20 GS, but I believe he still have chances adding more, let’s see……BEST to Rafa the rest of the season!❤️

    • It’s this the end of Rafael Nadal, as we know him??? It’s this the beginning of the end of the great Rafael Nadal??? Do we as fans have any idea of the magnitude of this loss and his implications on the debate of the goat??? I do hope Rafael Nadal can bounce back from this loss… because this loss will haunt him forever… and us the fans 2 … Rafael had allow Novak to keep on having a mental edge upon him… can anyone agree???

      • Of course every loss hurts…I can’t lie,I do feel down & I supposes a bit sad😔 However to be realistic Rafa just can’t keep winning RG, year after year after year after year after year after year… should I say it 13 times! That’s just plain insane no one in any sport has won a tournament 13 times! Rafa is very grounded he has all the loving support of his family,team & fans …Rafa will be fine! I just read an article about Novak…a very well-known analyst said Novak is under unbelievable stress… The way that he was screaming and letting out his anger isn’t normal.He looked like a crazy maniac who had lost control. When he screams at his box what does he want them to do…Get up & do back flips, maybe bow down to him! Makes you think what kind of husband and father he is I’m sure if he acts like that on court he probably acts the same way at home. If he loses on Sunday he may go ballistic . Cheer up! Remember when he won La Decima how proud & excited we were… well he added three more to that and we should all be grateful & just as proud of him! Rafa is very lucky to have all of you for his fans… we love him for everything he stands for…not just RG!

      • Thank you for lifting my spirit, Ziggy!! I haven’t been able to deal with Rafael Nadal loss today!!! You made see a point!!! Thank!!!

      • Yes Ziggy, La Decima by Rafa in Paris is the happiest day of my life. 🤫 don’t tell my husband.😛

  15. I agree with you Mary lou, and the same feeling here Lorna, no highlights today.
    We are still on pain guys, I can see…
    But the Greatness and the Brightness of our champion there always will be.
    ‘Even in your defeats you are an inspiration and an example to all of us, dear Rafa’ 🙏🏻😌
    💚💫🌠✨🌊🌈🔥

  16. Every day is yours Rafa!!! You command honor and respect. A loss is one drop in the bucket which is full to overflowing with wins. It is a game. As you say, one must play his best at that moment to win. It was not today.

    There will NEVER be a king of clay like YOU again in ANY era!!!! Well done !!!! Vamos man

  17. Not interested in seeing any highlights, thanks. The result is a lowlight for me and that’s it!

  18. Today didn’t go our way on the court but your followers’ love, respect and admiration is strong. Wishing you all the best moving forward this season and always!

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