It’s a shame Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal had to meet in the Rome quarters, but that’s the result when even on clay Nadal (still regaining his form) is just the No. 5 seed. That won’t be the case at Roland Garros, it would seem. Nadal’s championship pedigree and 19-4 clay record this year should win him a higher seed at the French Open. Which is good, because the quarters is too early for champions like these to face off.
But the whether or not Nadal should have been No. 5 seed, it’s clear — both from this point and the match result — that Djokovic is No. 1. He is an unstoppable force. He went on to capture not just the thrilling set point below, but the match, 7-5, 7-6(4). Djokovic will play Dominic Thiem or Kei Nishikori in the seminfinals.