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Rain suspends French Open final

Published: 6:56AM Monday June 11, 2012 Source: Reuters

The French Open men's final between six-times champion Rafa Nadal and world number one Novak Djokovic was suspended for the day after rain stopped play this morning.

Organisers said with the weather forcast for the remaineder of the day looking rather bleak, the match would resume at 11pm tonight.

Rafa was in charge of the match over Djokovic 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 1-2 when officials called the players off the court for the second time in the match.

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.

The Spaniard 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.

Nadal, who is seeking a record seventh French Open title, had the opportunity to go 4-0 up, but missed a forehand wide allowing the Serb, who is bidding to win his fourth straight major, to force his way back into the tie.

He cleverly dragged Nadal out of court and then finished him off with crunching winners to draw level with a double break of his own.

After putting in the effort to get himself back in the set, he allowed Nadal to edge ahead again with a double fault at break point in the seventh game and he finished it off three games later with a forehand across court.

The second set began in a similar vein to the first with Djokovic losing his opening service game with a double fault on break point and then fighting back from 2-0 down to lead 3-2 as the drizzle began to fall on Court Philippe Chatrier.

The Serb tossed his racquet down in a show of petulance in the fifth game before exhibiting extraordinary sportsmanship to gift Nadal a point following a late and incorrect line call when the rules called for it to be replayed.

Nadal broke in the seventh game with a rasping forehand winner, which again brought the worst out in the frustrated Serb who smashed a hole in his courtside chair.

The second seed moved to within one game of the set when rain suspended play for 35 minutes and he was quick out of the blocks on the restart, breaking to take the second set with a scorching backhand winner on the run.

With the momentum firmly in his favour, Nadal broke early in the third but typically of a match in which service games were hard to hold and breaks easy to come by, Djokovic levelled with some rugged defence that brought errors from the Spaniard.

Djokovic then began to scamper around the court with increased impetus, while Nadal started to complain about the damp conditions.

The number one seed snatched three break points in the fifth game, and after wasting one he took the second as Nadal netted a forehand.

He then let out a roar after breaking for a second time before closing out the set, the first Nadal has dropped in the tournament.