After defeating Djokovic in the quarterfinals of the French Open, Nadal advances.

The clay court tennis king is back in action. Rafael Nadal of Spain defeated Novak Djokovic of Serbia in a rare quarterfinal match at the French Open in Paris yesterday.

It was a thrilling encounter, and Nadal continues to win despite a potentially career-ending injury. Tom Goldman of NPR has the story.

It was the 59th match between two 35-year-olds who will both be able to claim GOAT status - greatest of all time - by the end of their careers.

Rafal Nadal holds the record for most Grand Slam singles titles with 21, while Novak Djokovic has 20.

The quarterfinal match from yesterday would not add to those astronomical totals. But it sounded like a championship matchup in terms of passion.

The Tennis Channel commentator might as well have played, oh, what a shot, on repeat to cover all the extended rallies that concluded with a bang.

Nadal and Djokovic battled late into the night for more than four hours, with Nadal surging early and then overcoming a large deficit in the fourth set to win a tiebreaker and the match.

Both agreed that playing each other was a unique experience. Djokovic, on the other hand, was not pleased with his defeat.

You know, I lost today to a stronger player - I had my chances, but I didn't take advantage of them. That's all there is to it, right? After a four-hour battle, I'm afraid I'll have to accept defeat.

And victory wasn't enough for Nadal. Nadal said Since it's only the quarterfinals, I didn't win anything.

As he tries to add to his 37 Grand Slam semifinal appearances, Nadal is convinced he'll have that enthusiasm in his 37th Grand Slam semifinal.