Rafa Nadal hits out over nonsensical French Open farce

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·Sports Reporter
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Rafa Nadal (pictured) reacts after a point against Novak Djokovic.
Rafa Nadal (pictured) believes the French Open should think about a change in the night session after his match with Novak Djokovic went past 1am. (Getty Images)

Rafa Nadal has joined the chorus of players calling for a better solution to the night sessions at the French Open after his match with Novak Djokovic finished after 1am.

Nadal produced one of the best matches of the year to defeat Djokovic 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 in the early hours of the morning.

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While the crowd was on their feet after a true classic between the long-time rivals, many had gone to bed with the match looking like it could go later if it wasn't for Nadal's epic fourth set fightback.

The big talking point leading into Nadal and Djokovic's 59th clash was whether the quarter-final would take place during the day or night session.

While it is clear Nadal has always preferred the day time, with the humidity and conditions favouring his heavy top spin, Djokovic has also claimed he prefers the day session.

The night session, for which Amazon Prime has exclusive broadcasting rights in France, starts at 9pm local time and was introduced for the first time at the 2021 edition of the clay-court major.

However, having to conduct multiple interviews past 1am after his match, Nadal again raised the issue of starting a night session at 9pm.

"We need to find the right balance to make things the best way possible,' he said, according to reporter Gaspar Lanca.

Rafael Nadal (pictured) celebrates towards his player's box after a point against Novak Djokovic.
Rafael Nadal (pictured) celebrates a point against Novak Djokovic at the French Open. (Photo by Mine Kasapoglu/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

"It's true that starting the match at 9:00pm, playing best-of-five on clay it can be very long. These kind of things can happen.

"But that's it."

The Spaniard went on to claim he understands the business side of tennis and understands why such decision need to be made.

"Of course I understand the other part of the business, without a doubt, that televisions pay a lot of money to have matches that late, then the tournament makes money and then the players make money, no?" he added.

The night session has caused issues at Roland Garros with reporters pointing out the logistical nightmare finishing so late.

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Organisers had granted Nadal's wish to play in the daytime for the first four rounds, but they copped heat from young Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz in the lead-up to the scheduling of the quarter-finals.

The teenage phenom said it would be unfair if he was forced to play another night match and Nadal wasn't.

"Honestly, it wouldn't seem fair to me. I've already played twice in the evening," the 19-year-old said.

"I'm not saying that it bothers me to play in the evening, but obviously I have less recovery time, if I finish very late all the time.

Rafael Nadal (pictured) celebrates his victory against Novak Djokovic.
Rafael Nadal (pictured) celebrates his victory against Novak Djokovic at the French Open. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)"n

"When we finish at midnight, with all that comes with it - dinner, physio, trying to come down in terms of adrenaline - it's harder to recover.

"If I play a third time in the evening, honestly it seems unfair to me."

Djokovic has also expressed his preference to play in the daytime.

"Today I'd rather play day than playing 9pm. Conditions are different today. It's colder, slower," he said.

"I historically played very well and won a lot of matches under the lights on different slams, particularly in Australia."

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