Monday finish for final
The French Open men's final between Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic was suspended due to rain in the fourth set on Sunday.
Last Updated: 10/06/12 7:16pm
The French Open men's final between Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic was suspended due to rain on Sunday evening.
Nadal was leading 6-4 6-3 2-6 1-2* when the match referee called the players off court at 5:51pm (6:51pm local time). The players were also off court for 35 minutes during the second set.
Victory for Nadal would make him the first man to win seven titles in Paris, one more than Bjorn Borg, while Djokovic could emulate Rod Laver and Don Budge by holding all four grand slam titles at once.
But it was the 26-year-old Spaniard who started on the front foot on his favourite surface by taking the opening two sets against the frustrated Serb.
Nadal raced into a 3-0 lead in the opening set with two breaks of serve as his forehand pierced holes in Djokovic's defensive armour.
However, Djokovic, 25, fought back with a double break of his own to level the match at 3-3.
The slow conditions were certainly playing a part in all the breaks of serve, and there was another as Nadal moved ahead again at 4-3, and he maintained his advantage, clinching the set with a vicious forehand winner.
The top seed was showing his frustration in the second set when he whacked his bench with his racquet causing splinters to fly across the court, after Nadal made a decisive move by breaking for 4-3. That cost him an official warning.
And it took the left-handed Mallorcan just a couple more minutes to move two sets ahead with a a trademark backhand pass earning him a sixth break of the Djokovic serve.
However, Djokovic boke the Nadal serve not once but twice to lead 3-2 at the start of the third set and the Serb suddenly found a way to win the long points.
Remarkably he made it six games in a row to win the set 6-2 and he immediately broke at the start of the fourth to give himself more than a glimmer of a chance of a momentous victory.
But with Nadal trtailing 2-1 the rain came down again and after a frustrating wait, the tournament referee declared play over for the day. The players will resume at 1pm local time on Monday.
The last time the men's final was not completed on Sunday was in 1973, when bad weather did not allow for the showpiece match to be completed until Tuesday.