Email
Print
Email
Print

Video: Rafael Nadal’s backhand hits Novak Djokovic in the face

Decrease fontDecrease font
Enlarge fontEnlarge font

Novak Djokovic got hit smack in the face by a Rafael Nadal backhand on Saturday night in Montreal, Canada. And he wasn’t too happy about it.

During his 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (2) win over Djokovic in the Rogers Cup semifinal, Nadal drew Djokovic into the net with a lofted drop shot at 2-2, 30-all in the third set. Djokovic sent a short drop shot right back, and Nadal raced forward, tried to go cross-court, and hit Djokovic smack in the face. Nadal immediately apologized but Djokovic was having none of it. He turned away from Nadal’s apology and shook his head, leaving Nadal to simply shrug towards the crowd.

Djokovic might not have liked it, but Andy Murray, who was still in Montreal after making the doubles final with Colin Fleming, seemed to enjoy it:

“I said yesterday the only chance to win against Novak, the only tactic is to play very well,” Nadal said after the match. “To play very well, I have to play aggressive. If not, I cannot play very well on this kind of surface. And I did. I played a very high level tonight, I think. I played with the right decisions in the important moments.”

“I had my chances,” Djokovic said. “He had his chances. You know, I guess at the end he played better… Whenever we play against each other, it’s always a thrilling match for the crowd to see. We are both competing at the high level. We both want to win these matches.”

Nadal now holds a 21-15 edge over the top-ranked Djokovic, who came into the tournament as the two-time defending champion. The Spaniard finally edged Djokovic in a third set tiebreaker after Djokovic played a surprisingly conservative tiebreak to allow Nadal to race to a 6-0 lead. The Spaniard closed it out three points later to advance to his 10th final in 11 tournaments this year and his second straight ATP Masters 1000 hard court final. He’ll try to earn his 25th ATP Masters title when he faces Milos Raonic in Sunday’s final. Regardless of the result, Nadal will rise to No. 3 in the ATP rankings on Monday.

Here are the last three points of the tiebreak, Nadal’s finger-wagging celebration, and the warm handshake between the two at the net:

  • Published On Aug 11, 2013
  • 12 comments
    nevermind
    nevermind

    Dirty play. But OK, Nadal had no other choice to win that point. Totally understand Novak, because you would think that players at that level would be more noble, plus it hurts when you get hit by a ball in your face. But anyways, he got over it by the end of the match...

    amarshall54
    amarshall54

    In addition, Novak walked away like a baby ... if you don't like it, confront Nadal and tell him that the next one is coming at your face.  Novak turned and walked ... at that point, Nadal had won, the battle if not the war, and he won the war too.  If I was as good as Nadal, I fire at your face repeatedly, and I'd tell you that its coming!

    amarshall54
    amarshall54

    Hey, Nadal did what he needed to do ... he hammered on into Novak's face!  Forget the courtesy BS, hammer one into his face.  Nadal's only mistake ... trying to apologize.  Tennis at this level is war ... and if I was Nadal, on the next rally, I'd hammer another one at your face!

    Raikiri
    Raikiri

    Novak my boy, you're such a sore loser. Denying Nadal's sincere apology were only making things worst. 

    First, it's sooo un-gentleman like behaviour, you were representing hill billies behavior of Tennis! 

    Secondly, you set-off fire in Nadal's. He doesn't have anymore respect and he's gunning for everything, hence the massacre in tie-break. Well, you deserves this painful loss and the joke was on you!

    6marK6
    6marK6

    Don't know a tennis coach in the world that does not teach players to drill people at the net. Every coach tells you to drill the player, it gives you the best chance of winning the point.

    Party_Gator
    Party_Gator

    Another tournament hard to watch because the main camera is placed too high.    It's terrible for tennis.   You can't see how much topspin.   You can't see how hard the players are working.   You can't see how low they have to get for some balls.    What's next, show the whole match from the Goodyear Blimp?

    Courtney can you explain what the tennis minds are thinking?    They're separating us from the athletes.   They need to give us MORE of the athlete's point of view during the point, not less.

    I suspect it's so the tournament can sell more seats lower on the tournament.   But it makes for bad TV and eventually the sport is going to suffer for it.

    PS nice shot Rafa.   Part of the game.   Novak you don't like it?   Protect yourself better.

    BenNev
    BenNev

    @amarshall54 That says a lot about your manners. Nadal did it accidentally, and apologised. But firing a ball intentionally at someone's face would be horrible, it can do a lot of damage. 


    The Nadal fans who try and deflect and say "Novak ignored his apology" are ridiculous. He accepted at the end of the match, move on. I was more offended by Nadal's arrogant "number 1" finger wag. Hilarious how people still believe the PR spin about him being a humble guy. 

    BenNev
    BenNev

    @Raikiri Massacre of a tiebreak? LMAO. Novak choked that tie break away, Nadal did nothing. Waiting for unforced errors isn't winning it yourself. You sound very bitter about Novak, probably since 2011 like most Nadal fans. I used to be a Nadal fan but I lost respect for him after some of his actions. I also dislike the fact that he always benefits from many unforced errors from opponents, he waits for them and always has done. 


    I can accept he is a great player though, and he earned this win. I am concerned for Novak though. He should not lose to Nadal on HC. Their HC head to head is 11-6. Even before his breakthrough year, he had beaten Nadal 7 times in straight sets on HC. His choking in this match and at RG this year is a big concern. It's actually quite surprising that he nearly won both matches, considering how well Nadal played and how many ridiculous unforced errors he made!!!! 

    W S
    W S

    @Party_GatorEasy to say sitting in the seats. They both acted like gentlemen with that shot. Let me guess you're a murray fan.......

    gasa.dudu
    gasa.dudu

    @BenNev @Raikiri Wow Ben. You'd rather call Novak a choker than admit Rafael was the better player? You seriously, intensely dislike Rafael don't you? Hahaha. I love it.

    And by the way, you don't have to say you used to be a Nadal fan just to give credence to your opinions. It's okay, you can have an opinion and justify it with a simple, "That's how I see it" and it'll be enough. After all, it's your opinion.

    Raikiri
    Raikiri

    @W S @Party_Gator Yeah, whats so gentleman about snubbing someone's apology? It's a clean and legit shot. So lemme guess, you're a Novak's fanboy? Well the joke is on you man! Hahahahaha!

    shelley
    shelley

    @W S @Party_Gator Djerk snubbed Rafa's apology. That's not gentlemanly, but it's also not surprising coming from Novak.