Rafael Nadal’s camp expressed frustration that he will have to play his French Open showdown with Novak Djokovic late on Tuesday night for what Carlos Moya called “business” reasons. This might seem like a detail, but Nadal is twice the player on a warm day when his forehand bites and spits off the red clay. Once evening arrives, and the sun falls below the horizon, his options lessen as they will do throughout the course of the match with an evening chill. Moya responded that he couldn’t agree with Rafa’s statements, but said it’s about business and we should listen to him. Rafa has credit, he’s won the tournament 13 times, and no one is bigger than the Grand Slam tournaments.
Rafael Nadal attempted to apply pressure on Amelie Mauresmo, saying that he could potentially be playing his final match in a venue he has dominated for nearly two decades. Rafael Nadal hopes to play his last game in a major tournament at Roland Garros during the day. He’s known the tournament like this his whole life and feels more comfortable playing before dusk. They made the decision to have Djokovic play in the evening hours. Cold weather would benefit Djokovic because Nadal’s forehand would bounce up at a higher height that is more comfortable for him to strike.
New night sessions at the French Open have been a mixed blessing for spectators. Fans had to stand up and dance during changeovers during Alcaraz vs. Khachanov to stave off hypothermia. The weather in Paris at that time of year is vastly different from Melbourne or New York in January and September, respectively.