French Open 2012: Rafael Nadal Takes First Set Against Novak Djokovic In Men's Final

For three games in the 2012 French Open men's singles final, it appeared that the Rafael Nadal who had streaked through the tournament had shown up again, ready to make mincemeat of one of the world's finest players. Then Novak Djokovic got into gear, forcing the regnant king of Roland Garros to grind to take the first set, 6-4.

Nadal built a quick 3-0 lead in the match, breaking Djokovic twice, but Djokovic returned the favor in the next three games, breaking twice by extending deuces and installing the sort of defense only Nadal can typically rely on.

Nadal would outlast Djokovic in the final four games of the match, earning a break to go up 4-3 and playing an exquisite drop shot to set up a double set point he converted with a cross-court forehand.

You can see a full French Open scoreboard at SI.com.

For more updates on the 2012 French Open, keep checking SB Nation's dedicated tennis hub.

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