Novak Djokovic renewed his 16-year feud with Rafael Nadal at the French Open on Tuesday, with the semi-finals at stake and where victory could end the career of 13-time champion Roland Garros. Nadal, who will turn 36 on Friday, has set a record of 109 wins and just three defeats in Paris since his debut against the defending champions in 2005.
In the fourth round, 21-year-old Felix Oger-Eliasim led the Spaniard to five sets for the third time in tournament history.
Shortly after the victory, Nadal admitted that not only was this year’s French Open for him, but possibly his entire sporting future was at stake.
“I know my situation, and I accept it. I can’t complain much,” said Nadal, who arrived in Paris, not sure if he was in Rome after a recurrent foot injury. Will be able to participate because of which he is suffering. For the most part of your career.
“I’m just enjoying the fact that I’m here for another year. And to be honest, I play every match here, I don’t know if this will be my last match at Roland Garros.
“I went through a difficult process with my feet again, so I don’t know what could happen in the near future.”
Overall, Djokovic has been leading 28-30 since the first meeting of his career at the 2006 French Open.
Nadal has a 19-8 lead over Clay and has won seven of the pair’s nine meetings in Paris.
Djokovic, however, topped Roland Garros’ semi-finals in 2021 for his second title.
Fear of the night
The defeat left Nadal with a physical injury that left him at Wimbledon, the Olympics and the US Open.
After Djokovic was deported from Melbourne at the Australian Open, Nadal broke the tie with Djokovic and Roger Federer to seize the record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title.
Both men are playing in the quarterfinals at Roland Garros for the 16th time.
Djokovic easily reached the last eight. He has won 22 consecutive seats, one run until his Italian Open victory in Rome.
Adding an extra twist to the conflict is a battle of wills on scheduling.
Nadal insists he does not want to play tonight.
His compatriot Carlos Alcaraz, 19, who is also facing Alexander Xavier on Tuesday, said it would be “unfair” if he was ordered to play for the third time after 9pm.
Nadal and Djokovic have played one match after another in the dark.
“I don’t like to play on the ground at night, because the humidity is high, the ball is slow, and it can be very difficult, especially when it’s cold,” Nadal said.
Djokovic has indicated that he would prefer to fight Nadal for as long as possible.
“I will only say Rafi and I will make various requests,” he said.
“I’m glad I didn’t spend much time on the court until the quarter-finals, knowing that playing him in Roland Garros is always a physical battle. It’s a big challenge and it’s probably the biggest challenge you have May pass. Here. “
Alcaraz is the youngest man to make the last eight in Paris since Djokovic in 2006.
He is proud of his 2022 clay court record of 20 wins over just one defeat. For the year, he’s 32-3.
The sixth seed had to save a match point to beat compatriot Albert Ramos Venolas in the second round, but otherwise he did not have the burden of expectations.
Alcaraz faced third seed Xavier, who defeated Germany in the final of the Madrid Masters, where he knocked out both Nadal and Djokovic.
Zverev, bidding to reach the semi-finals for the second year in a row, also ruled out nighttime conditions.
“I don’t mind the evening sessions when the daytime temperature is 30 degrees,” said the 25-year-old.
“When it’s 14 degrees, what would it be at night, 8, 9, something like that, it gets hard.
“My cervix is going to get even slower, my forehead is going to get even slower. Playing at 9:30 at night without sunlight, without heat, and without 8 degrees will not be easy for me.”
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)
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