'Don't know why': Rafa Nadal rages over bizarre French Open farce

Rafael Nadal, pictured here looking at the stadium lights at the French Open.
Rafael Nadal looks at the stadium lights during his French Open clash with Jannik Sinner. (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

Rafael Nadal has taken aim at French Open organisers after his day-time match against Jannik Sinner was played under floodlights on Monday.

Nadal had little trouble in downing Sinner 7-5 6-3 6-0 to book a place in the French Open quarter-finals.

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However he did have some troubles with the stadium lights and was left gobsmacked that they were used when the match was being played in blazing sunshine.

"I don't know why they put the lights on that early," he said after the match.

"We have been playing without lights here in Roland Garros for forever.

"At 4 or 5 in the afternoon we have been playing tennis until 9 in the evening without lights.

"They say it's because of TV. But my answer is we used to have TV before we had the lights on.

"I saw plenty of matches here, and from the TV the quality of the image was great without the lights."

The lights were Nadal's biggest challenge as he reached the French Open quarter-finals for the 15th time to stay on course for a 14th title and record-setting 21st grand slam.

Nadal has now won 104 matches at Roland Garros against just two defeats since his 2005 debut, while Monday's victory extended his run of consecutive sets won to 35.

World No.19 Sinner, who at 19 years old has been labelled as the next big thing in tennis, hit a brick wall on court after leading 5-3 in the opening set.

Nadal then produced his best tennis when it mattered most.

"I played against a very good player who has a great future and I'm very happy with the win," Nadal said.

"I started playing well the first couple of games and then I played too defensive for a few games and gave him the chance to step into the court and play his shots.

"After that the match changed a lot."

Rafael Nadal and Jannik Sinner, pictured here after their fourth-round clash at the French Open.
Rafael Nadal shakes hands with Jannik Sinner after their fourth-round clash at the French Open. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Nadal on track for semi-final showdown with Djokovic

Nadal will now face Diego Schwartzman for a place in the semi-finals after beating the Argentine in the last four last year.

The 35-year-old is projected to face Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals.

Earlier, Djokovic defeated Sinner's compatriot Lorenzo Musetti, who had to retire in the fifth set having stunned the Serb by taking the first two sets.

"I started well but was a little too defensive. I gave him the chance to come inside the court and play his best shots. That was a mistake," added Nadal.

"I broke back at 5-4 in the first set and the match changed after that. I played at a great level."

Nadal had beaten Sinner in the quarter-finals in Paris in 2020, as well as at this year's Italian Open without dropping a set.

"He was playing and I was only running," said Sinner.

with agencies

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