So, the time has come. From the draw, all eyes were completely on this top of the table. The top, at least on paper, of this Roland-Garros 2022 took shape very clearly: Rafael Nadal against Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals. Here we are. As the two men faced very different scenarios on Sunday to advance to the quarter-finals, now they are just waiting for one thing: knowing when it will take place.
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Nadal and Djoko, opposing preferences
On the side of the players, the choices differ. In a press conference, Rafael Nadal recalled the course of action he has followed since the introduction of night sessions at Roland-Garros last year. †I prefer to play during the dayhe explained in Spanish. I know Roland-Garros mainly during the day. But I realize that anything can happen. Every time I play here I am aware that this could be my last game at Roland-Garros. I hope not. But that’s why I would also like to play it during the day†
A sentimental argument that also hides many more tennis arguments. †I don’t like night sessions on clayhe had claimed more directly after his 3rd round. I already said it. I am very clear on this. I don’t like playing on clay at night because the humidity is higher, the ball is slower and the conditions can be really tough, especially when it’s cold. I think it makes a big difference when playing tennis on clay†
Rafael Nadal vs Novak Djokovic: will the quarterfinals be day or night?
Credit: Marko Popovic
This difference is exactly what Novak Djokovic hopes for. Because for him it seems like a godsend to face Nadal with a lift diminished by the circumstances. †All I can say is that Rafa and I would make different requestshe smiled on the France Télévisions set on Friday when Michael Llodra asked him the question. Since then, the Serb has insisted on remembering the bottom of such a decision that ultimately exceeds the players.
Stock level, they are equal
†Top players like us have the right to make requests, but they are not always grantedhe told a press conference. But in the end, it’s the tournament directors and the TV channels that decide. They are the ones who claim your match during the day or evening. You just have to adapt to it”†
In the criteria used, the fairness of the time spent in the night session must take precedence. In this regard, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal both had the honor of an evening on the Chatrier, in the first round for the Serb against Nishioka, in the second round for the Spaniard against Corentin Moutet. And as Carlos Alcaraz, the other media attraction in the table, has already been entitled to two nightly matches, it’s unlikely his quarter will take place under these circumstances.
So the options seem limited except for a ladies table pick, poor night programming ratio (only 1 out of 8 scheduled matches so far). But are Martina Trévisan against Leylah Fernandez or Coco Gauff against Sloane Stephens enough posters for the deadbolt?
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“We are also talking about the most anticipated game of the tournament”
†Roland is the heritage of French sport, as is the Tour du France. Can you imagine the Alpe d’Huez stage being broadcast on a pay channel and therefore inaccessible to the vast majority of viewers? There we also talk about the most anticipated match of the tournament. And I think of the tennis-mad boy whose parents can’t afford to take him to Roland or pay for TV subscriptions. Not offering them this match, which promotes tennis and the tournament, is a big responsibility after allNicolas Mahut begged.
Behind the scenes there was a lot of noise this Sunday. Normally scheduled for Monday at 10 a.m., Amélie Mauresmo’s press conference has been postponed to Wednesday halfway through the tournament. Certainly not a coincidence. The final decision should come no earlier than Monday afternoon, the usual time for the unveiling of the next day’s programming. In short, we will have to wait a little longer before we have the end of the story. Without it being the last one, because this decision will get people talking.
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