• French Open, Day 13

What They Said: Nadal ecstatic, Djokovic disappointed

ESPN staff
June 7, 2013
Rafael Nadal is on course to win an eighth Roland Garros crown © AP

Rafael Nadal defeated Novak Djokovic 9-7 in a fifth and final set to seal his place in the French Open final, and the Spaniard was delighted not to be on the wrong end of the contest, like he was in the 2012 Australian Open final.

"This was a really emotional match, that's the truth," Nadal, who lost in a six-hour epic to Djokovic Down Under last year, said. "I lost a match like this in Australia. This one was for me. I'm more than happy about the way I fought in the fifth, after losing a big chance in the fourth.

"Djokovic always comes back. [To win a match like this] you need to love the game. You need to love what you are doing and appreciate every moment. I have learned to enjoy suffering in these matches, because what is much harder is to be [injured] at home in Mallorca, watching these matches on TV."

The French Open continues to elude Djokovic, and the world No. 1 was disappointed to lose out to Nadal in a thrilling encounter.

"[Nadal] showed courage in the right moments and went for his shots. That's why he's a champion, and why he's ruled Roland Garros for so many years," the Serb said, who was not pleased with the situation of the court.

"In my opinion, the court was too slippery. I asked for it to be watered. It was difficult to change direction. I just don't understand. I think that it's wrong, what they did. I wanted this title so much, so I am disappointed. It's not the end of the world.

"The feeling is not great at the moment, but I have years in front of me. I will come back, and I will keep on trying to win it."

David Ferrer booked his place in a first major final, and the little Spaniard admits he will need to be at his best to beat Nadal on Sunday.

"I am not tired. This is very important playing against Rafa, because I need to be 100 per cent to do well against him," Ferrer said.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on the other hand complimented the play of Ferrer as he suffered a straight sets loss.

"My opponent didn't make a lot of mistakes, unlike Roger Federer in my last match," Tsonga said. "The plan was to be aggressive and control the baseline, but he defended well and I felt like I always had to play the perfect shot to put him out of position. He was even faster than usual, destabilising me. Maybe in a few hours or a few days I will think it was a good tournament because I reached the semi-finals, but for now I'm just disappointed."

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