Nadal wins marathon to set up duel with Djokovic

FRENCH Open specialist Rafael Nadal is through to the Quarter Finals of this year’s edition, after the Spaniard beat Felix Auger-Aliassime in a five set marathon 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

It was the Canadian who broke first in the opening set of their encounter, breaking Nadal twice on the way to a 5-1 lead.

Nadal then broke back and held his serve to bring it back to 5-3, but the resistance was futile as Auger-Aliassime won the next game to take the set 6-3 and signal his intentions.

There was quite a reversal of fortune in the second set for both players.

It was an even beginning to the set, with both players winning their first three service games.

Unfortunately for Auger-Aliassime, he did not win another game for the rest of the set, as Nadal took out the next three to claim the set.

Things went even worse for Auger-Aliassime in the third set.

He held his first service game and his third, but they would be his only wins for the set as Nadal proved his class.

The Spaniard dominated the set and wrapped things up fairly promptly.

However, there were more twists left in this tale.

Auger-Aliassime broke Nadal in the second game of the fourth set to establish a 2-0 lead, but could not hold as Nadal broke back the very next game.

The Canadian broke again in the fourth game but then converted the break this time around.

Nadal won one more game for the set a few games later but that would be it for him for the set as Auger-Aliassime took the set and the match was heading to a fifth.

Things were tight in the final set.

It took until the eighth game for either player to break serve, and it was Nadal who did so to bring the score to 5-3 and find himself serving for the match.

He wrapped things up the following game to wrap up proceedings in just under four and a half hours.

Despite the win, the stats do not always tell a pretty story for Nadal.

Although both players served the same number of double faults (four), Auger-Aliassime served vastly more aces then Nadal did.

Auger-Aliassime had a slightly higher first serve percentage (69-67), but Nadal had a higher percentage of wins on both his first (67 per cent to 64) and second serve (66 percent to 47).

Nadal really struggled to convert his break point opportunities. He had 22 of them in the match, but was only able to make good on six of them.

This is a stark contrast to Auger-Aliassime, who only had nine chances but converted four of them.

Auger-Aliassime also recorded more winners then Nadal did, but a higher number of both forced and unforced errors.

Nadal’s win sets up an enthralling Quarter Final clash with non other than Novak Djokovic, after the Serbian defeated Diego Schwartzman in straight sets.


The winner of the Nadal/Djokovic quarter semi final will face either Alexander Zverev or Carlos Alcaraz, after the pair also both won through to the quarter finals last night.

Zverev was pushed to a tie breaker in the opening set against Bernabe Zapata Miralles, but did win the tie breaker and went on to win the match in straight sets.

Alcaraz had a easer time in his battle with Karen Khachanov, winning in straight sets but without any tie breakers.

While in the women’s draw, it was a mixed bag of results for the Americans.

Sloane Stephens upset Jil Teichmann in straight sets and Coco Gauff beat Elise Mertens in straight sets, but Amanda Anisimova lost to Leylah Fernandez in three sets.

Meanwhile in the other match, Martina Trevisan won the first set tiebreaker against Aliaksandra Sasnovich before going on to win the match in straight sets.

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