French Open - Why Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal would 'make different requests' for day or night clash
If 13-time champion Rafael Nadal and world No. 1 Novak Djokovic are to meet in their potential hotly-anticipated quarter-final at the 2022 French Open, they are each likely to make very different requests as to whether the match will be played in the day or at night. Nadal has openly admitted he does not like playing on clay in the evening, while Djokovic would prefer a night match.
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Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal would each "make totally different requests" in regards to a day or night match if they are to end up facing off at the 2022 French Open.
World No. 1 Djokovic could be set to face his great rival in the quarter-finals in what is a very lopsided men's draw at Roland-Garros with rising Spanish star Carlos Alcaraz also in that half of the bracket and a potential opponent in the semi-finals.
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Djokovic, who leads the pair's head-to-head record 30-28, is a "very slight" favourite for Eurosport expert John McEnroe, who was asked about the pair's ferocious rivalry and who he believes will come out on top in the final on June 5 on Court Philippe Chatrier.
"I don't think we have to worry a whole lot about Rafa at Roland-Garros, if you look at his record, it's crazy, it's insane how good it is. 13 times he has won this, so it is all about if he is feeling good physically," said McEnroe.
"If he is feeling good physically, even Novak says he is the favourite because he wants to take a little pressure off himself - you always say 'the other guy is going to win'. Nadal has won it 13 times and Novak has won it twice - who do you think the favourite is if they are both healthy?
"I know that Novak beat him last year in the semis, Rafa did not play for six months. All of a sudden, they go to Australia where everyone is saying Novak is going to break the record and guess what? They don't even let him play, they throw him out of the country.
"Rafa Nadal wins the Australian Open after not playing for six months. These guys are incredible. Amazing. So it is going to be tough to beat them.
'He's back!' - McEnroe backs Djokovic over Nadal to triumph at French Open
"I'm not sure he [Djokovic] is at his best level, but he is getting close to it. Novak has a way of fuelling these situations into something positive - that is very hard to do.
"All of a sudden he [Djokovic] loses to Alcaraz [in Madrid], what’s happening? Well, he wins Rome; now it looks like, there is Novak Djokovic - he’s back! He’s 35, in incredible shape."
Asked directly who he is backing to triumph on the final Sunday, McEnroe said: "Certainly to me, if I had to pick a guy I’d still pick him. Slight, very slight!"
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