Said Djokovic: "It is a very special day for me because it's the first time I managed to beat Rafa on clay. I've played a great match from the first to the last point. I got to the court believing I can win and that was the only way that I could get a win in the end."
The ultimate test for Djokovic, of course, remains: he still must beat Nadal in a best-of-five match, i.e. the French Open final. But we can hope Sunday was a prelude to Paris. Suddenly, this is the sport's most compelling rivalry.
In that semifinal match, Odesnik faced off against Ryan Harrison, the young American. Showing some real moxie, as they say, Harrison maligned Odesnik throughout. Courtside observers tell us that Harrison, quite audibly, called Odesnik a "weasel" and an "embarrassment to American tennis." The two apparently had words after the match as well. Odesnik may have had his suspension reduced for promising to cooperate with authorities. The players, not surprisingly, consider this a breach of loyalty. It'll be interesting to see how Odesnik will be treated at the bigger Tour events -- which he'll be likely to enter if his ranking sustains this trajectory. Stay tuned.