Djokovic braced to deliver Nadal hammer blow at French Open

30/5/2022 2:04:00 PM

Djokovic braced to deliver Nadal hammer blow at French Open

Djokovic braced to deliver Nadal hammer blow at French Open

PARIS, May 30 — Novak Djokovic renews his epic 16-year rivalry with Rafael Nadal at the French Open tomorrow with a semi-final spot at stake and where victory could end the...

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Monday, 30 May 2022 6:21 PM MYT PARIS, May 30 — Novak Djokovic renews his epic 16-year rivalry with Rafael Nadal at the French Open tomorrow with a semi-final spot at stake and where victory could end the 13-time champion’s Roland Garros career.Nadal, who will turn 36 on Friday, puts his record of 109 wins and just three losses in Paris, since his title-winning debut in 2005, on the line against the defending champion.Nadal, the 13-time champion at Roland Garros and holder of a record 21 Grand Slam titles, triumphed over the Canadian 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in a match which lasted four hours and 21 minutes.The Spaniard was taken to five sets for only the third time in his tournament history by 21-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime in the fourth round.They ended their professional association in 2017 before Toni linked up with Auger-Aliassime in 2021, working alongside the Canadian’s full-time coach Fred Fontang.In the immediate aftermath of that victory, Nadal admitted that not only was this year’s French Open at stake for him but possibly his entire playing future.Nadal and Djokovic will meet for the 10th time at Roland Garros and 59th overall in a rivalry stretching back to 2006.“I know my situation, and I accept it.“We know each other well, we have a lot of history.

I can’t complain much,” said Nadal, who arrived in Paris unsure if he would be able to take part after suffering a recurrence in Rome of a chronic foot injury which has plagued him for large parts of his career.The only thing I can say is that I will be focussed, try my best and fight until the end,” said Nadal of renewing his rivalry with the defending champion on Tuesday.I told Felix that my ethics do not allow me to give him advice on beating my nephew.“I am just enjoying the fact that I am here for one more year.And being honest, every match that I play here, I don’t know if it’s going to be my last at Roland Garros.Nadal hailed Auger-Aliassime, who has been working with his uncle and former coach Toni since April last year.“I went through a tough process again with my foot, so I don’t know what can happen in the near future.“And if Rafael had said no, I wouldn’t have taken the job.” Overall, Djokovic leads Nadal 30-28 since their first career meeting at the 2006 French Open.He’s very young with a lot of power and great mobility,” said the 35-year-old Spaniard who has made the last-eight for the 16th time.He’s very young with a lot of power and great mobility,” said the 35-year-old Spaniard who has made the last-eight for the 16th time.

Nadal has a 19-8 edge on clay and has won seven of the pair’s nine meetings in Paris.Djokovic, however, came out on top in the semi-finals at Roland Garros in 2021 on his way to a second title.Nadal retrieved one of the breaks in the seventh game but the 21-year-old Canadian held his nerve to pocket the opener.“For me, it’s very simple,” said Nadal after reaching the fourth round by cruising past Botic van de Zandschulp in the third round.Night fears That defeat took a physical toll on Nadal who then skipped Wimbledon, the Olympics and the US Open.With Djokovic deported from Melbourne on the eve of the Australian Open, Nadal seized the opportunity to claim a record-setting 21st Grand Slam title, breaking a tie with Djokovic and Roger Federer.‘Huge challenge’ Auger-Aliassime then rallied to level the tie.Both men are playing in the quarter-finals at Roland Garros for the 16th time.He wants the best for me and I want the best for him.In a tense finale, Nadal converted only the sixth of the 22 break points he had carved out to lead 5-3 and held his nerve to claim his 109th victory at Roland Garros.

Djokovic has reached the last-eight with ease.Djokovic also reached the quarter-finals for the 16th time when he eased to a 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 victory against 15th seed Diego Schwartzman of Argentina.He has won 22 sets in a row, a run stretching back to his Italian Open triumph in Rome.Adding an extra twist to the clash is a battle of wills over scheduling.I’m ready for it,” said Djokovic of facing his old rival.” Into the last 16 in Paris for the first time, the 21-year-old Auger-Aliassime also attempted to play down the influence of Toni Nadal.Nadal insists he does not want to play in the night match.His compatriot, 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz, who faces Alexander Zverev also tomorrow, said it would be “unfair” if he was ordered to play after 9pm for the third time.He has also won 22 sets in a row, stretching back to his Italian Open title triumph in Rome earlier this month.He has also won 22 sets in a row, stretching back to his Italian Open title triumph in Rome earlier this month.

Nadal and Djokovic have played one match each after dark.” He added: “We knew it was a possibility that eventually I would play Rafa when I’m working with Toni.“I don’t like to play on clay during the night, because the humidity is higher, the ball is slower, and there can be very heavy conditions especially when it’s cold,” said Nadal.“He raised his level when he needed to.Djokovic hinted he would prefer to face Nadal as late as possible.“All I will say is Rafa and I would make different requests,” he said.He was dictating, aggressive when he needed to and also defending really well,” said the Canadian.” — AFP Advertisement.“I’m glad that I didn’t spend too much time on the court up to the quarter-finals, knowing that playing him in Roland Garros is always a physical battle.All-American clash Alexander Zverev reached the quarter-finals for the fourth time by ending Spanish qualifier Bernabe Zapata Miralles’ run.

It’s a huge challenge and probably the biggest one that you can have here.Zverev’s quality in the big moments proved enough in a 7-6 (13/11), 7-5, 6-3 victory.” Alcaraz show Alcaraz is the youngest man to make the last-eight in Paris since Djokovic in 2006.He boasts a 2022 claycourt record of 20 wins against just one loss.Alcaraz, 19, has won 20 of 21 matches on clay this season but needed to save a match point to beat Spanish compatriot Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the second round.For the year, he is 32-3.The sixth seed had to save a match point to defeat compatriot Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the second round but has otherwise been unburdened by the expectations on him.Gauff, 18, reached the last-eight for the second successive year with a 6-4, 6-0 win over Belgium’s Elise Mertens while 2018 runner-up Stephens defeated 23rd-seeded Jil Teichmann of Switzerland 6-2, 6-0.Gauff, 18, reached the last-eight for the second successive year with a 6-4, 6-0 win over Belgium’s Elise Mertens while 2018 runner-up Stephens defeated 23rd-seeded Jil Teichmann of Switzerland 6-2, 6-0.

Alcaraz tackles third seeded Zverev having defeated the German in the final of the Madrid Masters where he also knocked out both Nadal and Djokovic.Zverev, bidding to reach the semi-finals for a second successive year, is also dismissive of night-time conditions..“I don’t mind the evening sessions when it’s 30 degrees during the day,” said the 25-year-old.“When it’s 14 degrees, then in the night it’s going to be what, 8, 9, something like that, it gets difficult.I think it’ll be a great match and I’m looking forward to it,” said Stephens who is currently 64th in the WTA rankings.“My serve is going to be even slower, my forehand is going to be even slower.Canadian teenager Leylah Fernandez reached the quarter-finals for the first time.

It’s not going to be an easy thing for me to play at 9.Fernandez, seeded 17th, and who was US Open runner-up last year, fired an impressive 40 winners past 2019 semi-finalist Amanda Anisimova to secure a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 win.30 at night with no sunlight, with no heat, and 8 degrees.” — AFP Advertisement.— AFP Advertisement.

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