Rafael Nadal criticized the organizers after the ample schedule at Philippe Chatrier stadium which meant that his match with Yannick Senner did not end until 1:26 am local time.
The Roland Garros champion was scheduled to play 12 times on the main court, and when he started his match the temperature was 13 degrees Celsius with chilly winds sweeping the mud from the stadium, whose roof was left open the entire time.
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“The weather … it is very cold,” Nadal told a news conference, after his 7-6 (4) 6-4 6-1 victory over Italian teenager Sener.
Play began at 11 a.m. local time on Tuesday with rescheduling the women’s fourth round match before the quarter-final match between Bogoroska and Elena Svitolina, a men’s quarter-final match between Diego Schwartzman and Dominic Thiem that lasted five hours and eight minutes and the last one – eight meetings between Iga Swatec and Martina Trevisan.
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Nadal started his match at 10:36 pm local time. While these start times are not unusual in the United States and Australia, these tournaments are held during the summer.
However, this year the French Open has been moved from its usual place in the warmer months of May to June due to the Covid-19 crisis.
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“I really don’t know why they put five games on Chatrier today. That was a risk,” Nadal said. “I saw right away yesterday when they sent me the schedule because there’s a chance there will be two long games. That’s what happened. Luckily, of course.
“For me, I just tried to be patient, accept everything, and be in positive. That’s what I did.”
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Former French Open semi-finalist Tim Henman praised the 19-year-old for his aggressive tactics – which made him break the Spaniard to stand a chance to serve in the first set – but emphasized that Nadal was in his most dangerous condition after falling behind.
“he is [Sinner] He came out on the field with a clear game plan, was going to be aggressive, and he knew he wasn’t expecting to hit Rafa himself. “He was incredibly impressive and had a chance to rest in the first set,” Hinman said at Eurosport Cube.
“ But that’s one of Rafa’s great strengths – when he falls behind on clay he breaks 60% of the time in the next serving match.
“That tiebreak was very important. Rafa came out ahead and the one-set advantage gave him an important lead.”
Henman: Sinner was “incredibly amazing” defeating Nadal
Meanwhile, 18-time Grand Slam champion Chris Evert said Nadal would benefit from his toughest ordeal at the tournament yet.
“I thought he did a great job. Finally, he had a good test. He needs a test if he’s going to play Djokovic at a later time,” she said.
“I feel he plays better when he embraces the baseline and when he’s the aggressor and finally starts playing that way in the second and third sets.
“When he also comes to the net, it shows me that Rafa is really confident.”
With additional reports from Reuters
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