French Open final as it happened: Rafael Nadal v Novak Djokovic

Rafael Nadal wins a record-breaking seventh French Open title after beating world number one Novak Djokovic in four sets.

11 June 2012 Last updated at 13:31

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As it happened

  1. 1328:  
    Jonathan Overend, BBC Sport

    "The momentum had gone for Djokovic, nobody wins eight games in a row against Nadal, least of all on clay, but Djokovic did. However, the rain got in his way and Nadal got it together today."

  2. 1327: 

    Times tennis correspondent Neil Harman on BBC Radio 5 live: "I don't think Nadal was even as happy at winning Wimbledon for the first time. He looks drained, emotionally spent, it's been such an incredible last two days, you have to feel sorry for Djokovic but it's Nadal's day."

  3. 1326: 

    Nadal parades the trophy around the Court Philippe Chatrier, his seventh French Open title and 11th Grand Slam win, putting him one behind Roy Emerson, three behind Pete Sampras and five away from the record of 16 held by Roger Federer. The pair will head to Wimbledon in a fortnight where they will be strong favourites to meet in the final once again. In the meantime, the British grass-court season is in full swing! Waterproofs are being unpacked, flasks of tea emptied and umbrellas huddled under across the country. We'll have live coverage from Queen's Club once the rain clears on BBC TV, 5 live and online.

  4. 1319: 

    They're all at it - Nadal in French: "Feliciations, privilege, merci beacoup etc". A bit of Spanish: "Muchisimas gracias." In English: "For me it's a real honour, this tournament is probably the most special of the world and for me to have this trophy is something unforgettable - it's probably one of the more special moments in my career."

  5. 1316: 

    A few words from Djokovic in French: "Feliciations, grand joue, grand equipe, merci etc" His French is better than mine, couldn't pick up anything about Monsier Marsaud doing the bricolage. In English: "Rafa was the better player, I hope to come back next year and do even better."

  6. 1312: 

    Djokovic makes his way up the runway they wheel onto Court Philippe Chatrier for the presentations and summons up a smile as he raises his runner's-up trophy. Nadal follows and gets a big hug from former champ Mats Wilander as a bonus, before heading out to the other end of the runway with his trophy.

  7. 1310: 

    Matthew Winchcombe on Twitter: "Rafa at his best today but double fault on Championship point?!!!! Ouch! Thats going to haunt ND for a while!"

    Jack Blackburn on Twitter: "Djokovic yet to join all time greats. Nadal, already in the pantheon, cements his place as greatest clay court player ever."

  8. 1307: 

    Alex in Kingston via text on 81111: "Watching in our school library surrounded by about 20 other kids all following your live feed!"

  10. 1303: 
    GAME, SET AND MATCH - Nadal 6-4 6-3 2-6 7-5 Djokovic

    Nadal heads straight for the stands to celebrate with his family and team - he has just overtaken Bjorn Borg with seven titles at Roland Garros. Assuming he doesn't 'do a Borg' and retire early, there must be a few more to come. Djokovic looks suitably dejected in his chair after his first Grand Slam loss since last year's Paris semi-final against Roger Federer. Still, 27 straight wins at Slams. Not bad going.

  11. 1257: 

    Sam in Birmingham on text via 81111: "Sat at the aegon classic in birmingham in a busy marquee out of the rain being spared from our lack of tennis by a tight french open final!!"

    Nadal 6-4 6-3 2-6 6-5 Djokovic *

    Nadal's mum has her shades on now, nice day. Her son is looking good at 30-0 but then gets the hump after trying to claim a Djokovic backhand had gone wide. The umpire says he tried to play on after that and so forfeited his chance to challenge. Nadal is not convinced but lets it go. Djokovic fires a big forehand winner from around his ears for 30-30 and now it's Nadal under pressure on serve, but he batters his way to game point... and then wins a terrific point, coming to the net and playing a drop shot that brings a wayward lob from Djokovic. The Spaniard is one game away again.


    Ray King on Twitter: "Would it be cynical to say that Nadal's tantrum yesterday may have won him the title?"

    * Nadal 6-4 6-3 2-6 5-5 Djokovic

    The crowd collectively hold their breath as Nadal sends up a towering defensive lob at 15-15, but Djokovic coolly slots it into the open space for 30-15. The world number one then finds an incredible angle on a cross-court backhand and fires away the following forehand to a huge cheer. A big serve does the job - and the sun comes out. Who'd have thought?

  15. 1245: 

    It's chucking it down and the tournament director is on, but for now the players are staying on their chairs, wrapped in towels and looking skywards. Nadal is desperately worried about the balls being put back in their cans so they don't get wetter and heavier. It's only a brief break, the balls are being de-canned again and we're off. Djokovic serving to stay in the match. No pressure...

    Nadal 6-4 6-3 2-6 5-4 Djokovic *

    Djokovic is briefly out of shot at the bottom of the court as he tries in vain to get back the spinning Nadal forehands - another love hold and Nadal is one game away from winning his seventh French Open title. Aged 26. It's just showing off really. The umpire is down and checking the surface, presumably for the footing. I'd like to see him tell Nadal they'e going off now....

    * Nadal 6-4 6-3 2-6 4-4 Djokovic

    Nadal is on the hunt again at 0-15 and dominating the next rally, but he throws in a rare error and sends one over the baseline, prompting a relieved grin from Papa Djokovic in the stands. His boy looks a bit tentative when he leaves a smashable ball to bounce at 15-15 but does just enough with the forehand that follows. A Djokovic backhand flies long and he's playing with fire here at 30-30.... he swings a serve out wide and follows it in with a surprise serve-volley, which maybe contributes to Nadal netting the return. Ace - and that was a big, big hold.

  18. 1236: 

    Times tennis correspondent Neil Harman on BBC 5 live: "To my mind we are in the same conditions that we had when we left the court last night. There is steady drizzle, it is pretty gloomy and still they go on."

    Nadal 6-4 6-3 2-6 4-3 Djokovic *

    Nadal has been just brilliant since the first ball today and Djokovic will do well to hang on to his serve and try to see out this passage of play. The Serb looks to have crushed a forehand winner from out wide at game point down but Nadal is there, sliding out to his left and hooking a forehand into the open court. Amazing stuff. Hang on, umbrellas going up....


    Michael on Twitter: "So after all the the anticipation, is Nadal going to finish this the way he started?"

    * Nadal 6-4 6-3 2-6 3-3 Djokovic

    Ooof. Some of Nadal's forehands feel like a punch to the stomach and a fizzing, looping cross-court effort for 15-15 has Djokovic reeling. The world number one does well to gather himself and get to 40-15, at which point a backhand down the line is called out. It's a tight one and the umpire is swiftly down from his chair and across to check the mark. It's in, game Djokovic, Nadal nods in agreement.

  22. 1226:  
    Jonathan Overend, BBC Sport

    "Djokovic knows that his big chance to win this match might have been in the rain last night when the officials called an end to proceedings a little prematurely in my opinion. There was an hour and a half of fine weather after play finished for the day."

    Nadal 6-4 6-3 2-6 3-2 Djokovic *

    It's amazing what a good night's kip and a chat with your uncle can do for you. Nadal has come out firing on all cylinders, hammering his serve and his forehand, and a love hold zips by as Djokovic staggers about a bit bleary-eyed by it all.

    * Nadal 6-4 6-3 2-6 2-2 Djokovic

    Nadal was always likely to threaten the Djokovic serve in this opening game and he does exactly that, moving to 15-30 before surprisingly sticking a forehand into the net. Djokovic has control of the next rally but fluffs his lines by netting a mid-court forehand, smacking himself in the head with his racquet in frustration. Break point... Djokovic is drawn into the net but pokes over a fairly tame effort and he knows the game is up even before Nadal wallops the backhand past him. We're all square again.


    Sufiya Patel on Twitter: "Chatrier looking very empty. Think they should have resold all the tickets, I then might have been tempted to get myself to Paris."

  26. 1208: 

    While the players are playing, we will be here, and you can also follow the action with the 5 live commentary team on Court Philippe Chatrier via the top right-hand side of this page.

  27. 1207: 

    Here come the players, Djokovic immediately glancing skywards. Nadal was furious when they went off in the Sunday evening gloom, angry that they had played on for so long, but it looks OK for now. Djokovic trails 6-4 6-3 2-6 1-2 after grabbing a break in the fourth set last night and must come out and hold.

  28. 1159:  
    Jonathan Overend, BBC Sport

    5 live tennis correspondent on Twitter: "Ticket situation: this will NOT be a jumping "People's Final". Original ticketholders still have the seats. So all depends how many show up."

  29. 1155: 

    You might have noticed that the weather has been a touch inclement of late, and Paris has not escaped the deluge. Rain brought proceedings to an end at just after 8pm local time last night and word on la rue is that the 'weather window' will close fast this afternoon.

  30. 1151: 

    Morning everyone, we have a Monday lunchtime bonus for you with the conclusion of one of the most significant tennis matches... well, ever. Rafael Nadal looked to be powering his way to a seventh French Open title on Sunday afternoon, before Novak Djokovic began what could turn out to be the comeback of all comebacks. It's set up perfectly for a dramatic climax over the next hour or two. Unless....

  31. 1909: 

    Let's all hope that the weather forecast for Monday (and Tuesday and Wednesday) is wrong....

  32. 1900: 
    PLAY SUSPENDED FOR THE DAY- Nadal 6-4 6-3 2-6 1-2 Djokovic *

    That's it for the day, no more play and we'll return on Monday at 1200 BST to see if Nadal can finish the job or Djokovic can complete an incredible comeback.

  33. 1853: 

    We should get a decision in 10 minutes or so but it's not looking great. If I were pondering whether to play in the park right now, it would be a no. I'm a bit of a lightweight though.

  34. 1836: 

    Kyle in London on text to 81111: "Echoes of Wimbledon 08? Nadal up 2 sets, interrupted by rain, pegged back by the world no. 1 and then a 2nd rain delay? Hope so, that was a classic and this could be too!"

    Jamie Scott in Birmingham on text to 81111: "It seems Djokovic isn't trying to imitate Rod Laver, but Andre Agassi: completing the career Slam in the 1999 Roland Garros final, from 2-sets-to-love down. He should watch the You Tube highlights of that comeback during this rain delay."

  35. 1825: 

    The last time the men's final was not completed on Sunday was in 1973. Bad weather meant the match could not be completed until the Tuesday, when Ilie Nastase beat Niki Pilic 6-3 6-3 6-0. So there you go.

  36. 1813: 

    Roland Garros on Twitter: "Word is that we might get players back on court at 8pm tonight." [That's 1900 BST]

  37. 1805: 

    Matt in Brighton on text to 81111: "Whatever happens, Nole has got to be the hardest player to beat in the history of the game. Wall."

  38. 1804: 

    Paddy Murphy on Twitter: "Rafa needs to get over himself and play. Nole has to play in the exact same rain, quit whining!"

    Will Kinsey on Twitter: "Rafa doesn't whine, born winner, he probably just wants to get off to watch the footy."

    Jamie Bourne on Twitter: "Nadal should be watching the Henman v Ivanisevic Wimbledon highlights to see what a change a second rain delay can make."

  39. 1758: 

    David Felgate on BBC Radio 5 Live: "That was a very sarcastic thumbs up from Nadal to the tournament organisers. The conditions are very difficult at the moment because of the rain. There are puddles, small puddles but still puddles."

  40. 1757: 

    Times correspondent Neil Harman on Twitter: "I thought Toni taught Rafa never to lose his cool. There are some angry Nadals about just now. Should be more worried about Djoko."

  41. 1752: 

    "Always the same with you, you never make one decision," is Nadal's opinion of the tournament director, and it does the trick as the players then head off again.

    Nadal 6-4 6-3 2-6 1-2 Djokovic *

    Nadal stops the rot, clenching his fist with an ace for 40-15 and then again after smacking a forehand winner on game point. The tournament referee comes on, looking a bit nervous...

    * Nadal 6-4 6-3 2-6 0-2 Djokovic

    Nadal is fuming with the umpire about having to play on in the rain. Djokovic is on the roll of all rolls at the moment, he could play on blancmange. He gets to 40-0 and then smacks a huge, huge winner. Eight games in a row. Nadal throws a ball at... sorry, to the umpire, to demonstrate how heavy they are in the wet clay.

    Nadal 6-4 6-3 2-6 0-1 Djokovic *

    "Do you think it's alright? Do you think conditions is alright? Say yes or no." It's fair to say, Rafa is not best pleased, but on they go. At 15-15 we get the point of the match so far, a macho 44-shot affair that you know the winner is going to take a lot more from than just a single point, and it's Nadal who nets. The Spaniard shows his mettle with the alarm bells ringing, driving Djokovic back and back before finishing him with a drop shot but the Serb finds the corner with a forehand for deuce. Nadal then goes wide and it's break point.... great serve out wide from Nadal but Djokovic anticipates his forehand and hammers a backhand into the open court. Incredible stuff, and Team Novak can hardly be contained in the stands. Seven games and counting for Djokovic...

  45. 1742:  
    Alastair Eykyn, BBC Radio 5 live

    "We have a contest and a fantastic atmosphere here in Court Philippe Chatrier. It's been an extraordinary sequence of games from Djokovic and an extraordinary match as it has rained for most of it and the court has not been covered."

  46. 1736: 

    David Felgate on BBC Radio 5 Live: "Maybe these conditions help Djokovic a bit more because he can flatten it out. Nadal likes his shots to fizz up a bit more at his opponent. Now we are getting both players playing their best tennis at the same time and the atmosphere is the best it has been in the match."

  47. 1735: 

    Daily Mail correspondent Mike Dickson on Twitter: "He couldn't come back....could he? It is Djoker after all. 46 36 62 - Rafa's complaining about conditions."

    GAME AND THIRD SET - * Nadal 6-4 6-3 2-6 Djokovic

    An ace kicks things off for Djokovic, a deft drop shot makes it 40-0 and three set points.... and Nadal goes long with the return. A fantastic run of six straight games for Djokovic. I would imagine you get a trophy of some sort for taking a set off Nadal in Paris.

    Nadal 6-4 6-3 2-5 Djokovic *

    Djokovic has a great chance with a mid-court backhand begging to be put away at 30-30, but Nadal tracks it and manages to sweep a forehand past the Serb moments later. The Spaniard struggles to control the following rally, however, and finds himself out of position deep in the corner, spraying a backhand wide for deuce. Djokovic withstands a barrage and goes on the offensive, drawing another backhand error and it's break point.... Nadal is rocked backwards and sends another backhand long, Djokovic roars and the set is nearly his. Five games on the spin.

    * Nadal 6-4 6-3 2-4 Djokovic

    Apparently, Nadal has been telling the umpire at the changeover he's not happy about the conditions. It's been raining throughout. Djokovic looks unperturbed as he holds to 15, hitting his first ace of the day along the way.


    Sun correspondent Steve Brenner on Twitter: "Djocko breaks again for 3-2. His dad is loving it. Up at every point like a very hard looking cheerleader."

    Nadal 6-4 6-3 2-3 Djokovic *

    Djokovic has the bit between his teeth at the moment and is dictating the rallies, smashing a forehand down the line for 0-40 and three break points.... he chases down a drop shot on the first but can't get it back over the net, Nadal helps him out on the second by sticking a forehand in the net. Three games in a row for the world number one, but it's never really a break until you've held your own serve. As they say.

    * Nadal 6-4 6-3 2-2 Djokovic

    Hello Stefan/Goran/Pete - Djokovic chooses to serve-volley for the first time at 0-30 and it works a treat as he slides a forehand volley into the open court. Memories flooding back of Tim Henman's glorious run to the semis in 2004 (?), quite an achievement that. Tigerish. Anyway, a big serve brings Djokovic back to 30-30 and that forehand into the corner makes it 40-30, before a forehand into the net makes it deuce, but the top seed comes through. Novak's dad is up on his feet again, although disappointingly not wearing a t-shirt with his son's face on it as at past Slams.

    Nadal 6-4 6-3 2-1 Djokovic *

    Nadal just misses with a running forehand that would have been ridiculous had it gone in, and when he nets it's 0-30. Djokovic attacks the net and Nadal cannot control the attempted pass, 15-40 and two break points.... Djokovic goes for the lines and the angles and clips the baseline with a forehand, finding the Nadal frame. Not sure if that's a temporary delay to the inevitable or the start of one of the great comebacks.

    * Nadal 6-4 6-3 2-0 Djokovic

    For a match of such historic signficance it's been a pretty joyless affair so far, neither man looking like they're relishing it. That's increasingly understandable where Djokovic is concerned as three more errors hand Nadal three break points at 0-40... he cracks a backhand cross-court on the first that just catches the tape, but Nadal dominates the second with his forehand and has Djokovic scrambling desperately. It's not enough and the Serb finds the net. Fist pump from Rafa, he's nearly there.

    Nadal 6-4 6-3 1-0 Djokovic *

    Djokovic has a sniff at 15-30 and there's real hope when he finds that forehand into the corner - his most effective shot today - to make it 30-40 and break point.... Nadal plays a magnificent defensive rally, looking down and out severeal times before turning the screw and moving forward to finish off the point. Two Djokovic missess in succession finish the game.

  57. 1652: 

    David Felgate on BBC Radio 5 Live: "It's always interesting a 2-0 lead. Nadal might play with more freedom but Djokovic could throw the shackles off, just like he did at match point against Roger Federer in the US Open final, and switch the momentum."

  58. 1650: 

    Tom in Cambridge via text to 81111: "Nadal is the Sebastian Vettel of the tennis world. Once he's in the lead, he's very difficult to beat... Mind you, if anyone can do it, Djokovic can!"

    GAME AND SECOND SET - * Nadal 6-4 6-3 Djokovic

    It's really heavy underfoot and in the air now, an advantage for Nadal? Djokovic moves sluggishly, for him, to his right and nets a forehand before whacking a backhand long. Two set points.... Djokovic saves the first with a service winner down the 'T', but Nadal does brilliantly to chase down a backhand and hook it past the Serb at the net. Two sets down against Nadal in Paris - this would be the comeback of all comebacks from Djokovic now.

  60. 1641: 

    Don't be misled by the graphic, it is in no way sunny, but they're going to give it a go and so are the 5 live team who are back in full flight if you click the top-right of this page.

  61. 1636: 

    Speak of the devils, here come our heroes back onto court. And once Rafa's sorted his water bottles, Novak's practised his serve and the crowd have sauntered back in, we'll be good to go.

  62. 1634: 

    I'm told the VIP seats are being wiped down and the remaining shards of Djokovic's racquet swept up on Chatrier. If and when play resumes, the world number one will have to do something about his serve. It's surprising he's kept so close to Nadal with a first-serve percentage of 47%, and while it's no shock the champion has hit fewer unforced errors (17 to 27) it is concerning for Djokovic that the Spaniard has hit one more winner (21 to 20). Stats, eh?

  63. 1627: 

    If you're keeping tabs on the 5 live online commentary then rest assured it will resume when the players are back on court. Our team in Paris are being told there will be 15-20 minutes' worth of rain. Fingers crossed.

  64. 1624: 

    Fiona on Twitter: "As a Nadal fan i'm gutted for delay, as a tennis fan Nole getting his head together will make match a spectacle."

  65. 1614: 

    Press Association correspondent Eleanor Crooks on Twitter: "Considering it's been raining practically all match, have to wonder when they'll be back."

  66. 1610: 

    Yep, it's been predicted all afternoon and after a couple of hours of play, the rain arrives and the players troop off to the locker room. Time to dig out the travel scrabble.

    Nadal 6-4 5-3 Djokovic *

    The umpire stops proceedings at 15-0 to have a word with someone in the crowd - he doesn't want to start down that road, there are 13,000 of them, we'll be here all week. Nadal is back on the charge, serving into the corners and following up with that thumping forehand. A love hold, but here comes the rain.....

    * Nadal 6-4 4-3 Djokovic

    Nadal wrestles back the initiative as Djokovic just cannot get his game going at full pelt. The Spaniard earns a break point at 30-40 and, after moving his man around a bit, cracks a terrific forehand winner off his hip into the corner to regain the break. Djokovic then gives his racquet the full treatment against his chair and is warned for racquet abuse. The crowd boo, everyone's happy. Except Nole.


    Default Girl on Twitter: "Hate to say it but Rafa has some residual Djokovic complex going on."

    Jack Blackburn on Twitter: "That was class from ‪#Djokovic‬, giving ‪#Nadal‬ that point. He is a very good sportsman as well as a great competitor."

    Nadal 6-4 3-3 Djokovic *

    Ah, the old mark-checking shenanigans. Nadal is about to go spare after a winner appears to be taken away from him when Djokovic concedes the point for 0-30, and the six-time champ sees out the game.

  71. 1556:  
    Jonathan Overend, BBC Sport

    5 live tennis correspondent on Twitter: "Approaching 5pm on a gloomy day and we're midway through second set. Even without rain delay we may not get done tonight."

    * Nadal 6-4 2-3 Djokovic

    Djokovic chucks his racquet in disgust as he slips 15-30 down and immediately apologises just as the French crowd are working up some decent boos/whistles. Spoilsport. It's a chance for Nadal but he fires a forehand just over the baseline, and the Serb gets through the game with a service winner and a backhand down the line. A fiery fist pump suggests he's right into it again, although he's serving at 42% in this set. Nadal could be in trouble if Djokovic finds his first serve.

    Nadal 6-4 2-2 Djokovic *

    And we're back! The match comes alive as Djokovic stops the Nadal runaway train by breaking back with a crunching backhand for break point.... followed by his third unplayable lob of the day to seal the game. Brilliant stuff. Less brilliant, the umbrellas are up again. It could be a fashion thing though.


    Patrick Kluivert is in the crowd, former Ajax, Milan, Barcelona and probably some other clubs striker. OK, he's no Gary Barlow. I'm sure there are a host of French stars out there too but I don't recognise them, do text or tweet if you have any ideas.

  75. 1545: 

    David Felgate on BBC Radio 5 Live: "Both guys are giving their all but the tennis has not hit the heights yet with both of playing their best at the same time."

    * Nadal 6-4 2-1 Djokovic

    It's all gone quiet over there. A very subdued atmosphere as Djokovic continues to look less than pleased with life, netting a volley for 30-30, but he hangs on in an unconvincing game. Euro 96 memories are jogged for England fans with a shot of Rafa's uncle, Miguel Angel Nadal, in the stands. The big man missed a penalty in the quarter-final against Wembley and Spanish football never recovered as England went on to rule the sport. True story.

    Nadal 6-4 2-0 Djokovic *

    Punishing stuff from Nadal as he serves his way confidently to 40-15 but a double-fault keeps Djokovic interested, and Nadal then loops a forehand into the tramlines. Deuce, and one of the shots of the day - a lunging return from Djokovic is followed by a wonderful backhand lob down the line that leaves Nadal stranded in the forecourt. Break point... a good serve out wide saves Nadal. Djokovic makes a rare foray to the net and angles away a volley that gets Paris's finest rattling their jewellery but this is Nadal's game, finished with a smash.

    * Nadal 6-4 1-0 Djokovic

    Djokovic is hanging on after three errors leave him facing break point at 30-40... Nadal looks to have done enough with a superb cross-court backhand but Djokovic chases it down and returns the forehand at an even more acute angle. Incredible shot. Moments later, the world number one is facing another break point though when a backhand drifts well wide... and, to an almost silent reception, Djokovic doube faults. And just to be clear, Brad Gilbert calls the forehand the fearhand. No, I've no idea.

  79. 1522: 

    Coach and commentator Brad Gilbert on Twitter: "Rafa one set to the good huge for Djoker to keep attacking the Fearhand of RN so he can not run around and dictate with the fearhand."

    GAME AND FIRST SET - Nadal 6-4 Djokovic *

    Fantastic stuff from both men at 30-15 as Nadal fires a succession of heavy blows that would have knocked out most, but Djokovic keeps sliding from side to side and scooping the ball back until Nadal plays a fabulous drop shot that even the scampering Serb cannot pick up. Set point... and Nadal thumps away a winner before punching the air. "Vamos!!!"

    * Nadal 5-4 Djokovic

    A beautiful Djokovic forehand lob on the run has the crowd oohing and aahing (and probably a bit of ooh laa laahing), and Papa Djokovic is on his feet for that one. His son holds with a backhand winner but he's still struggling a bit on serve, and that's the difference at the moment as Nadal prepares to serve for the set.


    Michael in Chelmsford via text to 81111: "Nadal is the undisputed king of clay but to have lost the last three slam finals to Djokovic must count for something. I reckon Djokovic will win it in four sets."

    Nadal 5-3 Djokovic *

    Djokovic spends the changeover remonstrating with himself and in the direction of his team in the stands, clearly fuming about wasting all his hard work with that last service game. A first-serve percentage of 46% isn't helping him. Nadal regains control from the baseline for the moment, Djokovic succumbing with a couple of backhands that fly wide, and the Spaniard's confidence appears to be restored.

    * Nadal 4-3 Djokovic

    Djokovic fires a forehand into the corner for the opening point but Nadal battles his way back and earns a break point at 30-40... only to miss with the return. A grimace and a look to the skies follows, but Djokovic gives him a second break point when he nets.... and Djokovic double faults!

  85. 1456: 

    Alex Goldie on Twitter: "You can never write off Djokovic in a grand slam final."

    Toby Griffiths on Twitter: "My money's on Nadal if it's a 3 or 4 set match, but I think Djokovic will win if he can take the match to a 5th set."

    Nadal 3-3 Djokovic *

    As the umbrellas begin to go up, so Nadal's level continues to just drop a little. He opens the game with a double fault and Djokovic skips around his backhand and hammers two wonderful forehands into the corner for deuce. Both men then explore the parameters of Court Philippe Chatrier in a terrific rally before Djokovic goes just long, but the Serb batters away into the Nadal forehand corner and brings it back to deuce. Not many can risk playing to that side time and again. Nadal's second double fault of the game gives Djokovic a break point.... and a brilliant wrong-footing backhand down the line draws the error. He's back from 3-0 down and the crowd give it some "Novak, Novak!!!"


    Zoe in Birmingham on text to 81111: "The day of TV sport marathon number two includes a game that doesn't involve shrieking from the players. I'm all over it! Come on Nadal!"

    Mike in Poole on text to 81111: "Nadal to win in straight set, he's in a hurry to watch Spain vs Italy."

    * Nadal 3-2 Djokovic

    Djokovic appears to be over the shaky start that saw him make nine unforced errors in four games as he moves to 40-0, but error number 10 brings him back to 40-30 and prompts a Serbian scream. He then gets a bit of fortune as Nadal frames a backhand and the deficit is cut to one game.

  89. 1441: 

    David Felgate on BBC Radio 5 Live: "That is a big break back by Djokovic. It was a tentative game from Nadal after the quick start that he made."

    Nadal 3-1 Djokovic *

    Djokovic is in the Nadal service game at 30-30 but then drags a tame forehand into the net. Nadal lets him off the hook though as his forehand goes haywire for a few moments, two in succession missing the target, and the world number one has a break point.... a long rally ensues and Nadal gets out of trouble a couple of times but finally leaks a backhand into the tramlines. Djokovic looks as bemused as Nadal, but he's back in the set.

    * Nadal 3-0 Djokovic

    Nadal is cleaning up with his forehand at the moment, two beauties ripped down the line helping him to 15-40 and two break points.... he misses with a return on the first but Djokovic goes for too much with a rather wild forehand and it's a double-break, greeted with near silence by the crowd.

    Nadal 2-0 Djokovic *

    An ace and a couple of loose Djokovic forehands give Nadal a love hold, and so far the six-time champion is in total command.


    Rakaan Al-Huneidi on Twitter: "Have to go with Rafa with his vast experience and phenomenal record on clay. He must not underestimate novak though."

    Billy Bankes on Twitter: "Expecting an epic ‪French Open‬ final today. Nadal is no doubt the king of clay but I think Djokovic will grind out a 5 set win."

    Sahil Oberoi on Twitter: "Watching Nadal & Novak walk into the Philippe Chatrier shows just why tennis is such a great sport!"

    * Nadal 1-0 Djokovic

    Nadal makes it pretty clear who he thinks is the boss by breaking in the opening game. He crunches a forehand winner into the corner on the first point, Djokovic then nets a forehand and fails to retrieve another big Nadal forehand down the line. Three break points.... the Serb gets off the mark with a good forehand of his own into the corner, pegs it back to 30-40 and then wallops another of those forehands for deuce. A massive cross-court backhand winner earns Nadal a fourth break point... and this time Djokovic goes long. Eight minutes for that game, settle back....

    * denotes NEXT to serve

  95. 1417: 

    You can tell this is a huge match, the stadium is actually full for the start. Djokovic to serve.....


    David Felgate on BBC Radio 5 Live: "They just can't wait to get it started. What an atmosphere. It's dull and gloomy but certainly not on Court Philippe Chatrier."

  97. 1410: 

    OK, it's not exactly sunny but Djokovic and Nadal are out on a blustery but dry Court Philippe Chatrier, already involved in a contest to see who can spend the longest on their chair while the umpire waits for the coin toss. And here comes Nadal, bouncing up and down in his usual style. Djokovic wins it, I think, no idea what he chose to do with it. Pics done, quick smile at each other.... let's knock up!!!!

  98. 1406: 

    Arya Tabrizi on Twitter: "Djokovic 2.0 blew the tennis world away last year. To beat SuperRafa on clay? Firmware update needed. Djokovic 2.1?"

    Sufiya Patel on Twitter: "Rafa may be the king of clay and the favourite but Nole has both the mental and physical ability to win this."

  99. 1404: 

    I tipped Djokovic at the start of the fortnight and will stick with it, in the face of most logic. Can he withstand Nadal's enormous fizzing groundstrokes and camp on the baseline like he does on other surfaces, taking the Spaniard's time away? Will Nadal's incredible forehand overpower Djokovic's brilliant backhand? If you're going to surpass names like Federer, Nadal, Sampras, Agassi, Becker, Edberg, Connors, McEnroe, Lendl etc, then you must do something truly extraordinary. Beating Nadal today would fit the bill for Djokovic. Anyone think Novak will do it, or is it a dead cert for Rafa? Text or tweet and let me know.

  100. 1357: 

    Just perusing the excellent ATP tale-of-the-tape, one of the many stats that stands out from Nadal and Djokovic at this year's French Open is the fact that the Spaniard has dropped serve just once in the entire tournament. Anyone who saw the pummelling he gave Juan Monaco and David Ferrer might question why any opponent would bother turning up. There has been something supernatural about Djokovic at Grand Slams over the last year though, his five-set win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga just the latest example of his indomitable spirit. If anyone can, he can....

  101. 1351: 

    Djokovic and Nadal have taken possession of the Grand Slam scene over the last 18 months, and it is the Serb who holds the upper hand at the moment having beaten the Spaniard in the finals of Wimbledon, the US Open and the Australian Open. You might remember that last one, it lasted five hours and 53 minutes. I'm confident we can beat that today. In fact, if the weather forecast is correct it might not finish until Thursday.

  102. 1345: 

    A quick word on coverage this afternoon - aside from reading this you can listen to 5 live commentary from 1400 BST, with a word of warning that it will switch to online only should the match go long. A click on the top right-hand side of this page will do the trick once the match gets under way.

  103. 1343:  
    Jonathan Overend, BBC Sport

    5 live tennis correspondent on Twitter: "Is the 'calendar' Grand Slam still the true test of historical tennis achievement? David Felgate on 5 Live thinks it is."

  104. 1338: 

    An early look at Roland Garros suggests we might be good to start on time at 1400 BST, although the prospects for later in the day are not great. As for next week.....

  105. 1332: 

    Afternoon everyone, and welcome to the latest 'historic day' for men's tennis. We've had a few of those recently but six-time champion Rafael Nadal v world number one Novak Djokovic feels like it might be the summit. Nadal is aiming to surpass Bjorn Borg's six Roland Garros titles, while Djokovic is trying to match Rod Laver's 1969 achievement of holding all four major titles at the same time (albeit not in the same year). We're all hoping the forecast rain holds off long enough to get this done.

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