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Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer the great survivors just keep on rolling | Sean Ingle

Tennis used to be dominated by players in their twenties but the resurgence of the Spaniard and Swiss shows this is the generation of the thirtysomething

There was a moment in Rafael Nadal’s semi-final victory against Novak Djokovic at the Madrid Open on Saturday when it appeared as though the Spaniard had stepped into a time machine. After a prolonged and gorgeous thrash?metal riff of a rally, Nadal suddenly turned the volume down from 11 to one. From the baseline he opened his racket face, chopped down hard, and then skipped and whooped as the ball fizzed over the net, embraced the red clay and died.

That drop shot, under extreme pressure, brought up match point. Moments later he had secured his first win against Djokovic in seven encounters stretching back to the French Open final in 2014.

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