Rafael Nadal beat the organizers of the French Open after his quarterfinal win against Jannik Sinner in his 100th game at Roland Garros ran until 1:26 a.m.
The Spaniard’s duel with the Italian was the fifth game scheduled on Court Philippe-Chatrier and the pair didn’t get on the field until 10:26 p.m. before the match began 10 minutes later.
“It’s too cold to play. Is it really, really cold to play tennis, isn’t it? ” he said.
“I know football players play in these conditions, but it’s a little different. You keep moving. We stop, we come back, we stop making changes. It’s a sport where you get stopped in many moments, right?
“I think it’s a bit dangerous for the body to play in these very difficult conditions. But that’s exactly what happened today. I really don’t know why you put five games on the chatrier today.
“That was a risk. I saw it right away yesterday when they sent me the schedule because there is a chance there will be a couple of long games. That’s what happened. “
Before Nadal’s match against Sinner, Danielle Collins defeated Ons Jabeur in the fourth round, Nadia Podoroska and Iga Swiatek booked their places in the semifinals with wins against Elina Svitolina and Martina Trevisan and Diego Schwartzman defeated Dominic Thiem in a five-set quarter-final epic.
The temperature at Philippe-Chatrier – whose roof was open – during Nadal’s game was 13 ° C and the players also faced a cold wind.
Despite the installation of the new roof, no night sessions were planned at the French Open – which usually take place in May and June but have been postponed due to the pandemic – until next year, and the game was scheduled to end around 9:30 a.m.
The fans, together with Nadal, called on the organizers to decide not to split the games on Tuesday into two places.
“Stop treating him like dirt,” shouted a particularly passionate Nadal supporter, who said the planning was “a joke from this tournament”.
“Whoever did the planning was totally bad at it. Who makes players play freezing at night? “Added another, while a third demanded that they” learn to properly organize and plan the event “.
You better believe it! Now stop treating him like dirt when you bow to Federer and Djoko. Nobody should have to play this late. Make a joke of this tournament, especially when it comes to the next round
– Kittyhawk (@ kit69bh) October 7, 2020
Whoever did the planning was totally bad at it. Who makes players play freezing at night?
– aRNi (@Arni_Abd) October 7, 2020
Learn how to properly organize and plan the event
– Ram (@ g_ram316) October 7, 2020
Despite the less than ideal conditions and timing, Nadal finally triumphed over his opponent 7: 6 (4), 6: 4, 6: 1.
Sinner led 6: 5 in the first set and Nadal had to back off to force a draw. In the second set he managed to break the serve of the twelve-time Roland Garros champion, but the “King of Clay” ultimately turned out to be too much for him.
Nadal will face Schwartzman in the semi-finals on Friday, who knocked him out of the Italian Open last month.
Should he beat the Argentine and win the final on Sunday, he will have 20 Grand Slam titles and 100 French Open wins from 102 games.