Despite Rafael Nadal’s objections, Tuesday’s highly anticipated French Open quarter-final between world number one Novak Djokovic and 13-time winner Rafael Nadal will be played during the contentious night session.
The night session, which Amazon Prime has exclusive broadcasting rights in France, begins at 9 p.m. local time — 00:15 IST — and was first featured at the claycourt major in 2021.
“I’m not a big fan of clay sessions at night.” “I am quite clear about that,” Nadal, who had a statue dedicated in his honor at Roland Garros, told reporters last week.
“I don’t like playing on clay at night because the humidity is higher, the ball is slower, and the conditions can be quite heavy, especially when it’s cold.”
That, I believe, makes a significant difference in how you play tennis on clay at night and during the day.”
Carlos Alcaraz and Alexander Zverev, both teenagers, have stated that they do not want their quarter-final, which will take place on Tuesday, to be scheduled during the night session.
The third match on Court Philippe Chatrier was between the Spaniard and the German third seed.
The Djokovic-Nadal rivalry is so heated that when the two giants meet at the French Open, the conventional rules don’t apply.
The COVID-19 curfew was extended back last year to allow spectators to stay later at Roland Garros after Djokovic eliminated Nadal in the semi-finals, and the event will be televised for free on Prime Video this year, according to organizers.
“I can only say that Rafa and I would make different applications,” Djokovic remarked with a smile when asked about his decision during a TV interview.
“As top players, we get demands,” he told reporters, “but those requests aren’t always accepted.”
“I suppose at the end of the day, the tournament director, together with TV and broadcasters, is who determines… TV, whether they want your match day or night.”
All you have to do now is get used to it. Obviously, depending on who you’re against, it’s better to play at night or during the day. There is no such thing as a universal standard or formula.”