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Defector Up All Night

That’s Pretty Much As Good As It Gets

Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP via Getty Images

Rafael Nadal lost today and is now now 105-3 in his career at the French Open. Do you succeed at any basic task in your life with that regularity? Frying an egg? Watering the house plant? Publishing timely morning posts on your worker-owned sports blog? Beating him is the hardest task in the sport. After a four-hour, 11-minute semifinal that felt like a powerful stimulant, Novak Djokovic now accounts for two of those three losses. It’s the greatest rivalry in men’s tennis, consistently producing a level of play that is impossible to find elsewhere. Their third set was as ridiculous a stretch of athleticism as I have ever seen. After it ended, Emmanuel Macron intervened so that the fans could stay and see through the match instead of getting booted from the premises by the COVID-19 curfew. (Congratulations to the French President on his second mention in these blog pages today.) The Roland-Garros faithful stuck around to see their man go down 3-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-2, as Djokovic now inches towards major title number 19, which would put him one short of the record that Roger Federer and Rafa share. More on this match soon, but for now, know that you owe it to the country of Greece to park yourself in front of a screen for Sunday’s final and will Stefanos Tsitsipas not to get his ass kicked.

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