Home Sports Roland-Garros: why Djokovic is the big favorite of the shock against Nadal

Roland-Garros: why Djokovic is the big favorite of the shock against Nadal

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Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic meet on Tuesday evening on the center court of Roland-Garros for the quarter-finals of the competition. It is the most anticipated match of the fortnight, but the identity of the winner is not in doubt for the editorialist Virginie Phulpin who considers that the Serb, world number one, is the big favorite.

EDITORIAL

You can have won 13 times Roland-Garros and arrive in the shoes of the outsider in the quarter-finals. This is what Rafael Nadal will experience on Tuesday evening against Novak Djokovic for their 59th confrontation. It is Tuesday evening and not in the afternoon. The Serb has already won the schedule battle, almost a first set, after two days of uncertainty and negotiations. “Djoko” wanted to play at night, Nadal by day. The clay is not the same in the evening with the humidity. It is slower, the ball bounces less. And the great lifting of the Spaniard who has been torturing his opponents since 2005 does not hurt as much at dusk as in broad daylight.

The right decision to schedule this match in the evening

It must not have been easy for the director of Roland-Garros, Amélie Mauresmo, to explain her choice to the king of the land, but there are economic reasons. Amazon has bought the rights to the night sessions and can choose their match. The tournament managed to achieve a good compromise for viewers, because this shock will be broadcast free of charge, therefore accessible to everyone, which is still essential for the best interests of tennis.

The older ones will not necessarily agree, but tennis also needs to rejuvenate its audience, and take advantage of what the new broadcaster has to offer. So we can’t really criticize the decision of Roland-Garros. But it is clear that it is more favorable to Djokovic than to Nadal.

The last game of “Rafa”‘s career at Roland-Garros?

Since the start of the tournament, Novak Djokovic has been rolling. He won again in three small sets on Sunday against the earthling Diego Schwartzman. And he had been resting for a long time when Rafael Nadal finally defeated Félix Auger-Aliassime in five sets, having played two hours longer than him. So the freshness is also on the side of the Serb. He is all the more fit as he hardly played at the start of the year, due to his non-participation in the Australian Open and the spring tournaments in the United States. We understood on this occasion that he was not vaccinated against Covid-19.

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We had to restart the machine, but he is now back at the top of his game, right at the right time for Roland-Garros. While Rafael Nadal still has the sword of Damocles from his permanently injured foot which can prevent him from playing at any time. So, there is no doubt, on paper, “Djoko” has everything to win.

Still, opposite, it’s Nadal, the player with 1,000 lives, the one who never gives up. So who knows? Betting against the Spaniard in Paris, even if it seems a foregone conclusion, is always a big risk. He said it Sunday evening, he knows that each match can be the last of his career at Roland-Garros. This is the first time that he so clearly evokes the end. It would be very sad to see him say goodbye to these lands which are almost his own at midnight by 8 degrees. It deserves a little more heat.

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