Men's Match of the Decade No. 7: Djokovic d. Nadal, 2018 WimbledonBy Nov 28, 2019
Week in Preview: the ATP Citi Open—featuring Rafael Nadal's D.C. debut—and the WTA's Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic in San JoseBy Aug 02, 2021
"The image is not the best": Rafael Nadal calls out Novak Djokovic for Olympics outburstAug 02, 2021
Rafael Nadal to kick off Washington D.C. campaign on Wednesday nightBy Jul 31, 2021
Stat of the Day: Alexander Zverev now 10-11 against the Big 3 in best of threeBy Jul 30, 2021
Weightlifter? ATP players think Rafael Nadal has what it takesBy Jul 30, 2021
Goran Ivanisevic believes Roger Federer isn't capable of reaching the top spot againBy Jul 25, 2021
Olympic Flashback: Rafael Nadal wins gold in Beijing—then becomes No. 1By Jul 19, 2021
The Tennis Conversation: Jenson Brooksby, a piano man and Nadal fanBy Jul 18, 2021
After Nadal signs on for D.C. debut, Citi Open announces approval of full-capacity crowdsBy Jul 15, 2021
Men's Match of the Decade No. 7: Djokovic d. Nadal, 2018 Wimbledon
The semifinal clash showed us that the greatest show of this decade—Nole vs. Rafa—was still going strong, with the Serbian winning, 6–4, 3–6, 7–6 (9), 3–6, 10–8.
Published Nov 28, 2019
Big Three. Big ballers. Big scores. The 2010s were defined by giant-sized contents on the men's side, which we'll review over the next two weeks.
See the entire men's and women's lists here, and relive each match with our video retrospectives.
When Wimbledon began in 2018, tennis was awash in 10th-anniversary nostalgia for the 2008 final between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. What were the chances we would see something that good again? Against all odds, we did.
In terms of stakes, suspense, and shot-making, the semifinal between Novak Djokovic and Nadal lived up to its predecessor. Why wasn’t it as ballyhooed? Blame it on the stage, not the actors. Where the 2008 final ended in drama-heightening darkness, this semi was first cut short by a curfew, then finished under a roof, despite dry weather the next day.
But if those drama-reducing circumstances robbed this match of the presentation it deserved, they also made the level of play that Djokovic and Nadal achieved that much more impressive. The unsettled conditions inspired the two to attack at the first opportunity; Djokovic and Nadal came to net 94 times combined, and each finished with 73 winners and 42 errors. Nadal played the flashier, riskier, better tennis, but Djokovic made the most important shot, a hooking crosscourt forehand pass that saved a seemingly unsaveable break point at 7-7 in the fifth, and launched him to his fifth Wimbledon title.
This five-hour thriller won’t go down as the greatest match ever, but it showed us that the greatest show of this decade—Nole vs. Rafa—was still going strong.