Djokovic endured the insistent pressure of Carreño, the first player to win a set in this edition of Roland Garros, and will play Tsitsipas in his 10th semi-final of the tournament.


Too bad, Novak Djokovic this year there is no one who will beat him. Well, Pablo Carreño did it that way at the US Open, due to the Serbian's disqualification after hitting a chair umpire, although it is true that the man from Gijón was ahead on the scoreboard (6-5 in the first set). Hence the asterisk in the invincible word in the title. This Wednesday, 31 days later, the two met again at Roland Garros, in the quarterfinals, and the leader of the ranking won fair and square, although for the first time so far this tournament he lost a set: 4-6, 6 -2, 6-3 and 6-4 in 3h: 10. Absolute credit for Pablo, who fought bravely in all of them and had a total of 13 break chances. Not because of those and despite his physical discomfort (left arm and back) did the Balkan, who has 36 victories in 2020, more than anyone, knelt and will face the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas on Friday in his tenth semifinal in Paris.

The first set was played by Djokovic with body language that denoted discomfort. He squirmed, trying to warm up the left arm where he received express physiotherapy treatment twice. He served badly (only 40% of the first in) and he was seen as vulnerable. Carreño was attentive to these symptoms and took advantage of them. He was the first to break, although the advantage later escaped due to two double faults. Djokovic also committed them and that gave the Asturian the opportunity to get 5-4 and serve to sign up the set. Did. For the first time in the tournament, the Balkan lost a set. Merit of Carreño with the collaboration of an excessively taciturn Djokovic.

As on many other occasions (see the final of the last Australian Open), the winner of 17 Grand Slams rose from his ashes, and after lifting two break balls in the third game of the second set, he took advantage, again saved another situation delicate and achieved the double break to make it 6-2 and the equalized on the aggregate of the match.

A bare cry, Nole saved the furniture at the start of the third set and tried to intimidate Carreño. The tension rose and in that environment, the Serbian is king. At one point he placed a 3-0 that altered the spirits of good Pablo, angry with himself. Too many missed opportunities to a superclass. It was the best tennis moments of the world number one up to that point. However, his opponent regained faith and shook off the fear to level the sleeve with another break. He had left. "Now you've hurt him," said the Spaniard after hitting a right hand that his rival couldn't control. "Like this, Pablo, like this," he cheered up again before hitting a direct serve. That was the way before a Djokovic that by then already seemed to carburet a higher performance. He had the 4-3 close to the rest and he escaped. Bad luck for the enormous merit of pressing almost every serve from a Djokovic already in machine mode. And before a monster like that, mistakes are paid. With an ace, the Belgrade player closed the set and took the lead.

Novak removed the tape from his back, but it did not fully untie. Carreño stopped him armed with his aesthetic and effective parallel setback. The continuous drops that he received from the other side of the track damaged him. The third game of the fourth sleeve was a fantastic sample that the fight was from you to you. This is how the match continued until Pablo threw where a counter-set did not touch and Djokovic, who swore all the time in Serbo-Croatian, was placed with 4-3 and served. He suffered a lot to maintain it, had to resort to his fury. Nobody gave up. Although in the end the story and the ranking weighed. “I had to be very patient, because Pablo is a very good player and makes very few mistakes. I started badly, with little movement, but then I picked up pace and confidence. In the important phase I kept my concentration ”, explained the winner, who showed certain weaknesses that his next rivals will have to take note of.

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