Nadal loses out as Djokovic French Open clash gets night session

30/5/2022 5:49:00 PM

Nadal loses out as Djokovic French Open clash gets night session

Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic

Nadal loses out as Djokovic French Open clash gets night session

PARIS, May 30 — Rafael Nadal ’s French Open quarter-final against long-time rival Novak Djokovic will take place in tomorrow’s night session at Roland Garros despite the...

Monday, 30 May 2022 8:49 PM MYTPARIS, May 30 — Rafael Nadal’s French Open quarter-final against long-time rival Novak Djokovic will take place in tomorrow’s night session at Roland Garros despite the 13-time champion’s desire to play in the day.Officials confirmed today that the pair’s 59th career meeting will be the late match under the lights of Court Philippe Chatrier with the day’s other quarter-final between Carlos Alcaraz and Alexander Zverev set for the afternoon.

“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 last week.“I think that makes a big difference between the way tennis is played on clay during the night and during the day.” Djokovic had hinted he would prefer to face Nadal as late as possible.

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Monday, 30 May 2022 8:49 PM MYT PARIS, May 30 — Rafael Nadal’s French Open quarter-final against long-time rival Novak Djokovic will take place in tomorrow’s night session at Roland Garros despite the 13-time champion’s desire to play in the day. Officials confirmed today that the pair’s 59th career meeting will be the late match under the lights of Court Philippe Chatrier with the day’s other quarter-final between Carlos Alcaraz and Alexander Zverev set for the afternoon. 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. “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 last week. 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. “I think that makes a big difference between the way tennis is played on clay during the night and during the day. Nadal and Djokovic will meet for the 10th time at Roland Garros and 59th overall in a rivalry stretching back to 2006.” Djokovic had hinted he would prefer to face Nadal as late as possible.

“All I will say is Rafa and I would make different requests,” said the world number one and defending champion. 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 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. Alcaraz said it would have been “unfair” if he was ordered to play after 9pm for the third time. Nadal and Djokovic have played one match each so far after dark. Nadal hailed Auger-Aliassime, who has been working with his uncle and former coach Toni since April last year. Zverev was also dismissive of night-time conditions. “I went through a tough process again with my foot, so I don’t know what can happen in the near future. “I don’t mind the evening sessions when it’s 30 degrees during the day,” said the 25-year-old. 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.

“When it’s 14 degrees, then in the night it’s going to be what, 8, 9, something like that, it gets difficult.” Organisers faced a dilemma over scheduling with host broadcaster Prime Video having the rights to the tournament’s 10 night sessions. Nadal retrieved one of the breaks in the seventh game but the 21-year-old Canadian held his nerve to pocket the opener. Djokovic, however, came out on top in the semi-finals at Roland Garros in 2021 on his way to a second title. Officials said an agreement had been reached whereby the match — the 10th between Djokovic and Nadal at Roland Garros — would be available free to air. “The quarter-final match between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal scheduled for Tuesday 31 May at 845pm will be free to watch as unrestricted content in France across Prime Video mobile and web apps,” said a statement. ‘Huge challenge’ Auger-Aliassime then rallied to level the tie. However, France’s public service broadcaster, which carries coverage of the tournament on terestrial channels, hit out. Both men are playing in the quarter-finals at Roland Garros for the 16th time.

“France Televisions regrets this decision which deprives French viewers of one of the most beautiful adverts of the tournament,” they said in a statement. 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. — AFP Advertisement .