Rafael Nadal’s French Open quarter-final with Novak Djokovic gets night session
Rafael Nadal’s French Open quarter-final against longtime rival Novak Djokovic will take place in Tuesday’s night session at Roland Garros despite the 13-time champion’s desire to play in the day. Officials confirmed on Monday that the pair’s 59th career meeting will be the late match under the lights at Court Philippe Chatrier with the day’s other quarter-final between Carlos Alcaraz and Alexander Zverev scheduled for the afternoon. “I don’t like playing on clay at night because the humidity is higher, the ball is slower and there can be very difficult conditions, especially when it’s cold,” Nadal said last week.
“I think it makes a big difference between how tennis is played on clay at night and during the day.”
Djokovic had hinted that he would prefer to face Nadal as late as possible.
“All I will say is Rafa and I would make different demands,” said the world number one and defending champion.
Alcaraz said it would have been “unfair” if he had been ordered to play after 9 p.m. for the third time. Nadal and Djokovic have played one game each so far after dark.
Zverev was also dismissive of nighttime conditions.
“I don’t mind evening sessions when it’s 30 degrees during the day,” the 25-year-old said.
“When it’s 14 degrees, so in the night it’s going to be what, 8, 9, something like that, it gets difficult.”
Organizers faced a scheduling dilemma, with host broadcaster Prime Video having the rights to all 10 nightly tournament sessions.
Officials said an agreement had been reached that the game – 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, May 31 at 8:45 p.m. will be free to watch as unlimited content in France on Prime Video’s mobile and web apps,” a statement read.
However, the French public service broadcaster, which airs coverage of the tournament on terrestrial channels, struck.
“France Télévisions regrets this decision which deprives French viewers of one of the most beautiful advertisements of the tournament,” they said in a press release.
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