Roland Garros QF: What time does Rafael Nadal play against Novak Djokovic?

Long-time rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will be squaring off for the 59th time in their careers and for first time this season when they clash in the French Open quarterfinals on Tuesday. That encounter will come a little less than a year on from their last, their 2021 semi-final tussle that end with victory in four sets for Djokovic.

(Photo by Pierre Costabadie/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

Date: May 31, 2022

Match time: Not before 8:45 PM local time / 2:45 PM EDT –  New York, Montreal /  7:45 PM BST – United Kingdom / 8:45 PM  CEST – Spain, France, Germany, Italy / 4:45 AM AEST – Melbourne. To convert to your local time, use this website.

Rafa on playing Novak:

“Well, we know each other well, we have a lot of history together. Here we are, we are at Roland Garros, it’s my favourite place. The only thing I can guarantee is that I will fight until the end.”

Novak on playing Rafa:

“I’m glad that I didn’t spend too much time on the court myself up to quarterfinals, knowing that playing him in Roland Garros is always a physical battle, along with everything else. It’s a huge challenge and probably the biggest one that you can have here in Roland Garros. I’m ready for it.”

Rafa’s record 13 championships at Roland Garros are part of his haul of 21 Grand Slam trophies, a record for men. The No. 1-ranked Novak, twice the title winner at the French Open, is just one behind Rafa in the total Slam count, tied with Roger Federer at 20.

  • Rafa leads 19-8 head-to-head on clay.
  • Rafa leads 10-7 in Grand Slam matches.
  • Rafa also leads 7-2 at Roland Garros.
  • Novak leads the head-to-head, 30-28.



  1. Good luck Rafa I know you will give it your very best👏🏻👏🏻❤️❤️

  2. I’m not convinced that the time of day will be a factor in the match. In any event, Rafa is the master at adjusting to different conditions and he’s played and won many night matches before. More importantly, it’s a question of whether his foot will hold up. Despite all the talking up by Djoko about how confident he is, both players will be nervous. It’ll boil down to who can execute their game plan better and I hope our champ will be superior in that department.

    On a different note, with Rafa referencing retirement and talking about a lot about life after tennis, I’m wondering whether he and his wife might be expecting an addition to the family. Just a hunch.

    • Rafa did say years ago that he would never travel on Tour with children and Maria will not want to put off having children for much longer, given her age. This and with his chronic foot problem causing him so much pain these days I do think that this could be Rafa’s last Roland Garros. I do hope not but I would not be surprised.
      I would absolutely hate for Rafa’s last match at the French Open to be a defeat at the hands of Djokovic!!! A day-time match would have been better for Rafa, especially as the sun is shining on Alcaraz and Zverev. I don’t think I will be able to watch the match live and will only watch it later if he wins.

  3. I dont like this fluorescent color outfit(same as last year). Only blue and green bring luck in FO for Rafa.

  4. Hahaha according to most comments I’ve seen, Rafa should withdraw citing bad weather conditions not suited to his style of play:) It’s as if he’s already lost in advance.

    The best players improvise, adapt and overcome! Rafa has proved before that he can beat Djoker in the cold at night, and there is no reason he cannot do it again.

    Give it your everything champ, you can do it!

  5. Rafa has already stated that he doesn’t like playing the Clay Court matches in the evening as his game is less effective and feels at a disadvantage . I am sure he lost last year to Djokovic because of this . No matter , Rafa will have to alter his game to account for the self acknowledged fact that his ball has less topspin under the closed roof . This is very upsetting and puts an asterisk on the outcome if Rafa does lose .

  6. I agree with Mac and Kevin. The pressure is all on Djokovic. Also, cold weather is a factor that could shake up all the calculations and that will help Rafa. I recall that Rafa beat Sinner in straight sets in the cold at Roland Garros in October 2020 and it wasn’t much warmer when he beat Djokovic in the final.

    I envy all of you who are in Paris right now. Go Rafa!

  7. Oh great – I just checked the weather forecast for Paris tomorrow and it’s supposed to be 20C during the day and 8C at night – it’s no wonder Rafa doesn’t enjoy playing at night on this court.

    • Ooh my God roland garros organisation is a disgrace its going to be a disaster tomorrow

  8. Are we all talking about the same Rafa who came from 2 sets down and 0-40 at 2-3 in the third set, to win the Australian Open final???

    I have no doubt that Rafa can beat Djokovic tomorrow. It could be played at dawn on the moon for all I care- I believe in my champ’s fighting spirit. Rafa will give it his everything. At the start of the year, I would have traded this FO for another AO, and Rafa did that already. There is no pressure on Rafa for tomorrow’s match.

    Good luck champ! Get it done!

    • Well said Mac.
      I think in 2020 also there was no much talk about conditions and Rafa made a mockery of it.
      Looking forward to him doing the same for the next 3 matches.
      Hes not at his best, but hes improving with every match. Hes now got the match practice he needs and appears to be moving well. The injury is on the sidelines now and we all pray it stays like this for at least a week.

  9. I am big Rafa fan. Live and breathe my tennis gun with Rafa game. This time I am little bit worried with Rafa vs Joker matchup. One thing still bothers me ( after watching match with Felix) is Rafa is not hitting the ball on the rise. I want to see 6-0 set that he played with joker in 2021 final.

  10. I’d be surprised if it’s not the night match. It’s a separate ticket and if people are paying to see only one match, then it’s only fair that it should be the one that’s potentially the best, or features the most popular players. I don’t think it favours Djokovic that much, I’m more concerned about the physical effort Rafa had to put in yesterday and of course his health generally.

    I don’t like the night matches, it doesn’t look like RG anymore. Even teenager Alcaraz has complained about the late finishes. The tour is treating players like shift workers in my opinion and it’s not healthy.

  11. Apparently the scheduling of Rafa’s qf match is mainly to do with TV rights in France. French Television have the rights for the tournament (as well as Amazon) so they have a say according to the greatest viewing figures.

  12. Looking at the schedule, they’ve put Rafa v Djoko qf match in the last slot (start time to be confirmed) so it looks like it’s going to be a night match.

    On the positive side, it gives Rafa more time to rest. Let’s remember that the conditions for their final in 2020 were very cool which favoured Rafa. Our champ will be pumped for this and he’ll come out of the starting blocks faster, because he knows the danger if he doesn’t.

    Best of luck champ.

  13. Enjoy the game RAFA play your tennis the crowd around the world will be with you cheering you willing you to win Good Luck

    • I really hope that RG schedules this match in the afternoon. As Rafa says, in Paris at this time of year, the conditions are not advantageous for playing on clay. Cool, heavy conditions will undoubtedly favour Djokovic by significantly reducing the impact of Rafa’s topspin. My worry is that the TV Broadcasters will insist upon an evening match, purely for financial reasons, and will probably get their way. I know Rafa played well against him in 2020 but he has not had the preparation and match play this time around that he would have wanted so it will be much tougher for him to beat Djokovic tomorrow, especially if they play at night. I suspect that, if Rafa was French, RG would resist the pressure from TV Broadcasters and schedule the match for the afternoon. The Australian and US Opens do play night matches but their evenings are much warmer than Paris is in May. Let’s hope that Rafa can pull off another amazing win.

  14. ND has made choices and statements which reveal his character and which have not won him any additional support. Rafa, ever the professional, has fought injuries and disappointments. The suffering has been monumental; the victories, miraculous and sublime. Each match feels historic. Thank you for being a light during some of the darkest times of human history. Roland Garros, your favourite arena-enjoy, Rafa Nadal-we are on this ride with and because of you🫶🙏❤️‍🔥🎾🍀

    • While Djokovic speaks so confidently, assuredly and ”ready for the battle” with Nadal, Nadal, on the other hand, prefers or is preparing ”to fight till the end”.

      From the conclusions drawn from both statements, any discerning mind can easily see who will win & who will lose.

      Margo, take my free advice —-dont waste your bet on Nadal —see the result of tomorrow’s battle below:

      Djokovic will win – 6-2, 7-5, 6-4

      • Talk is talk. What counts is what Rafa puts out on court and my money’s on him!!

  15. Rafa beat Novak in 2020 French Open final during the fall, indoors, in straight sets. If Rafa is feeling good physically and on top of his game, it does not matter if he plays Novak, day or night, he can win.

  16. If RG go in favour of joker with night session….well so much for Management erecting a statue … to Rafa Nadal….GOAT…the player that really has put their tournament on the tennis map. To me SW19 have been anti Rafa since he took down Roger 2008…maybe RG are now favouring joker

  17. Of course they will favor Djokovic and play in the evening session. Remember the 2018 Wimbledon roof scandal?

  18. Everything appears to favor Djokovic. He’s had more clay experience this year than Rafa. Rafa is coming off two serious injuries( for tennis players). Rafa is fresh from a four hour plus five setter. They will be playing in the evening. The bettors will favor joker.

    On the other hand Djokovic hasn’t been challenged since Carlos at Madrid. Rafa’s game is on the upswing. I don’t think Djokovic will be any more over confident than he usually is but all the pressure will be on him for all the reasons that he is favored.

    I’m predicting Rafa wins in an upset.

    • The only think I hope and pray for is that Rafa is healthy! If he is, then never mind The Joker or the conditions, Rafa wil prevail full stop!!

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