Both men have been solid on serve this fortnight, but they have dominated in slightly different ways. Nadal is stronger on second serve, where he has won 63 per cent of his points to Djokovic’s 56 per cent. The Spaniard’s average second serve comes in at 154.6 km/h while Djokovic delivers at an average of 142.5 km/h.
After battling for four hours and 21 minutes in his five-set win over Auger-Aliassime, Nadal has spent 10 hours and 43 minutes on court. Djokovic has been efficient in eight hours and 13 minutes of play.
As everyone knows I am a Rafael Nadal fan and I would love to watch his match against Novak Djokovic. I will be too curious about what will happen not to see it, but I will watch on TV rather than at the stadium. I watched Rafa’s last match against Felix Auger-Aliassime, although not the full game because it was so long. During the tournament I need to be focused on my own preparations, my rest and my routine. That’s why I won’t be going to watch the quarter-final in the stadium. But, like always, I’ll be rooting for Rafa.
If we’re looking for any indications, the most critical one was made Monday by the schedulers. This will be a night match, a decided disadvantage to Nadal, who wants the ball jumping off the clay. Keep an eye, too, on the first set. In 50 of their previous 58 matches, the winner of the first set has prevailed.
- The last dance? Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic set for duel under French Open lights | The Independent
We know better than to rule Nadal out by now but the reality of his chronic foot injury and the suggestion that this could be it – his Last Dance – raises the stakes and sets up a quarter-final of intriguing possibility. It was always supposed to be this way. Nadal and Djokovic have been on a collision course ever since they were grouped together in the top quarter of the French Open draw and the blockbuster clash that was promised has now been delivered.
Former French Open finalist Alex Corretja has stated that this decision will greatly benefit Djokovic as he explained that the conditions at night are greater suited to the Serbian’s game than the Spaniards.
Speaking to Eurosport, the former Spanish star reacted to the news saying: “Oh dear! We will have time to talk about [the conditions]. Of course Rafa’s game is not as effective because usually he likes to hit the ball with a lot of spin, meaning that the ball will go very high. But if he plays at night, the ball might bounce a little bit lower, and for Novak’s game, [that is] better. Obviously the conditions are the same for everyone, but it depends on your game. It can suit your game more or less, and that’s why for Rafa’s game, it is always better when it’s sunny.”
Social media related to Rafa:
Rafa is the champ! King of Clay! Stand up!
Love this guy.
So many twists and turns – this is an emotional rollercoaster. Cmon Rafa. Show Novak who is the boss
Come on champ stand strong!
Behave yourself Rafa and stay strong! You are almost there champ! You can do this!
Oh I am just loving this. A set and a break up. Vamos Rafa. Crush him!!!!
Second set is important for Rafa as he doesn’t want to go in 4 or 5 sets but he is playing his best tennis against djoker
Errrr I’m not enjoying it as much now!!!! C’mon Rafa!!!
Rafa has uncharacteristically gave him the second set where he was double break up… come on Rafa still rooting for your win in 4
Again with a good start In 3rd but please win this set and next one without a drama
Rafa has neutralized djoker so far.
Brilliant play to take the first set
Come on Rafa
We know Rafa is a problem solver…. Hopefully if he gets into trouble during the match he will “figure it out” as we have witnessed many times…
Hearing that Alcarez had played twice at night and it wasn’t fair to him…. well…. when you think of all the revenue Rafa Nadal has brought to Roland Garros…. He put it on the map… He created all the excitement there…. I say you grant his request for a daytime match…. and Alcarez…pays his dues with a 3rd match at night…. That’s my opinion of course….
VAMOS RAFA!! GO FOR IT!!!!
It is all about the money, unfortunately. I don’t think anyone should have to play after 8pm in Paris in May. The playing conditions at night are very different and it is just too cold at this time of year. I would dearly love Rafa to beat Djokovic but there can be no doubt that Djokovic will benefit from playing Rafa at night. That combined with Rafa’s recent rib injury which affected his preparation for RG will make it difficult for Rafa to rise to the occasion. We all know he will try his very best as he always has and does but he will be up against it tonight. Such a shame for Rafa. As a thirteen time Champion he deserved better! The crowd seem to prefer Rafa though, which is great. Some of the crowd booed Djokovic as he came on court (they did that in his previous match too. Let’s hope the crowd can inspire Rafa and, most importantly, that he can play the whole match without pain!
Yes of course its about the money. The new Prime network is carrying the match and it paid big bucks for night matches. Thus Prime gets the match that everyone wants to see.
Toni is right, it is all about the money and a joke😡
Go for it Rafa, YOU CAN DO IT!
TV pays the piper, so TV calls the tune. But Carlitos had 2 night matches in a row, so it wouldn’t have been fair to him to make this a night match. What they should do is split the QFs so that one or two of them are played on Lenglen, and either scrap the wretched night session or else put a doubles match on at night. But money talks.