Djokovic set for ‘greatest problem’ towards Nadal


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Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal after their 2012 French Open final
Djokovic and Nadal have performed 10 instances on the French Open, with the Spaniard profitable seven and the Serb – who retired injured from their first assembly in 2006 – two
Dates: 22 Could-5 June Venue: Roland Garros, Paris
Protection: Dwell textual content and radio commentaries of chosen matches throughout BBC Radio 5 Dwell Sports activities Additional, the BBC Sport web site and app

Novak Djokovic says he’s prepared for the “greatest problem one can have” on the French Open when he performs 13-time champion Rafael Nadal in a much-anticipated quarter-final on Tuesday.

The pair, who’ve 41 Grand Slam titles between them, proceed their rivalry with a males’s document 59th assembly.

The match begins at 19:45 BST within the Courtroom Philippe-Chatrier night time session.

“I like the best way I have been feeling, the best way I am hitting the ball. I am prepared,” stated defending champion Djokovic.

Spain’s Nadal, who remains to be discovering his finest stage after latest health points, added: “I have never performed these form of matches for 3 months so it will be an enormous problem for me.”

Fifth seed Nadal, 35, has not performed Serbia’s Djokovic since he misplaced to the world primary in final 12 months’s semi-finals on the Paris clay.

Djokovic, 35, leads 30-28 within the head-to head document after he handed Nadal simply his third loss at Roland Garros.

Nadal moved forward of Djokovic and Switzerland’s Roger Federer by way of Grand Slam males’s singles trophies when he received a document twenty first title with victory on the Australian Open in January.

French Open

Djokovic discovering kind and fancying his probabilities

Eyes have been drawn to a possible last-eight assembly between two of the game’s greats ever because the draw was made.

Two-time champion Djokovic was the primary of the pair to advance to the quarter-finals, beating Argentine fifteenth seed Diego Schwartzman to take care of his document of not dropping a set at Roland Garros this 12 months.

Nadal dropped units for the primary time in his last-16 match towards Canadian ninth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime however recovered to win an absorbing five-set match.

“It was clearly a well-anticipated match I believe when the draw got here out for lots of people,” stated Djokovic, who has spent eight hours and 13 minutes on court docket in his 4 matches – two and a half hours lower than Nadal.

“I am glad that I did not spend an excessive amount of time on the court docket myself as much as quarter-finals, figuring out that enjoying him in Roland Garros is all the time a bodily battle, together with every thing else.”

Djokovic has been increase in the direction of his peak kind in latest weeks following a disrupted begin to the 2022 season.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion was deported from Australia and never allowed to play on the 12 months’s opening Grand Slam occasion, then banned from coming into the US to play at Indian Wells and Miami as a result of he was not vaccinated towards Covid-19.

After an early exit on his aggressive return at Monte Carlo, he has since continued to enhance and got here into the French Open on the again of profitable the Italian Open in Rome.

On the prospect of going through Nadal on Chatrier, he added: “It is an enormous problem and doubtless the largest one that you would be able to have right here at Roland Garros.

“I am prepared for it. I’ll give attention to what I have to do. I like my probabilities.”

Nadal decided as ever however ‘blissful’ to be in latter phases

Nadal made a sensational begin to the 2022 marketing campaign and loved what he described because the “most sudden” win of his profession by beating Russia’s Daniil Medvedev within the Melbourne remaining.

Final 12 months, Nadal feared his profession was over due to a persistent foot drawback which restricted him to just one event within the remaining seven months of 2021.

Following his success in Australia, Nadal’s momentum was stalled when he suffered a stress fracture of his rib at Indian Wells in March.

The harm meant he missed six weeks of the tour, returning to motion in Madrid to achieve the quarter-finals however then seeing the foot drawback flare up once more in the course of the Italian Open.

Nonetheless Nadal says he “cannot complain” at reaching a sixteenth French Open quarter-final – a males’s document he collectively shares with Djokovic.

“Two weeks and a half in the past, even when I had good hopes after Rome, I did not even know if I might have the ability to be right here,” Nadal stated.

“So I am simply having fun with the truth that I’m right here for another 12 months. And being trustworthy, each match that I play right here, I do not know if it will be the final match right here in my tennis profession. That is my state of affairs now.

“I’m simply attempting to get pleasure from as a lot as attainable and struggle as a lot as I can to maintain dwelling the dream.”

Does night time scheduling profit Djokovic extra?

Even earlier than the 2 gamers received their respective fourth-round ties, there had been speak about when the match could be scheduled.

Nadal is thought to choose enjoying within the hotter day situations which go well with his top-spin forehand, leaving Djokovic maybe happier to have an evening session.

Different issues for French Open organisers had been the calls for of tv rights-holders and falling brief of their dedication to having gender equality within the break up between males’s and girls’s matches within the prime time night time slot.

In the long run it was picked for the night time session – beginning at 8:45pm native time in Paris – with organisers then asserting the match had been made free to observe in France by Amazon on their Prime Video cellular and internet apps.

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