Follow live updates from the French Open as we reach the quarter-finals with the women’s singles and men’s singles providing several intriguing match-ups. Roland Garros may well provide us with a last dance between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic at a grand slam. The legendary players meet tonight on Philippe-Chatrier after their heir apparent Carlos Alcaraz was defeated by Alexander Zverev in four sets. The women’s singles produced a couple of fine quarter-finals, with Coco Gauff beating Sloane Stephens and Martina Trevisan advancing after a three-set win over Leylah Annie Fernandez.
Djokovic says playing Nadal on the clay in Paris is “the biggest challenge one can have”. The match sees the legenday pari, who have 41 Grand Slam titles between them, add a 59th chapter to their decorated story. “I like the way I’ve been feeling, the way I’m hitting the ball. I’m ready,” says defending champion Djokovic. “It was obviously a well-anticipated match I think when the draw came out for a lot of people. I’m glad that I didn’t spend too much time on the court myself up to quarter-finals, knowing that playing him in Roland Garros is always a physical battle, along with everything else.”
While the Spaniard countered: “I haven’t played these kind of matches for three months so it is going to be a big challenge for me. Two weeks and a half ago, even if I had good hopes after Rome, I didn’t even know if I would be able to be here. So I’m just enjoying the fact that I am here for one more year. And being honest, every match that I play here, I don’t know if it is going to be the last match here in my tennis career. That’s my situation now. I am just trying to enjoy as much as possible and fight as much as I can to keep living the dream.” Follow the action from the French Open, below:
French Open 2022: Djokovic (2-6, 6-4, 2-6) *5-3 Nadal
Tom Kershaw31 May 2022 23:43
French Open 2022: Djokovic *5-3 Nadal
Ruthless from Nadal at the start of this eighth game of the fourth set, 30-0 and the cushion he needs to keep the pressure on Djokovic, despite just one game separating us from a fifth set.
Stunning! One of the best shots of the game, whipped left-handed forehand that barely travels higher than the net, curling around the post and forcing Djokovic to stretch and concede the point.
Nadal completes the hold in style and will now have to break Djokovic’s serve to avoid going the distance.
Jack Rathborn31 May 2022 23:39
French Open 2022: Djokovic *4-2 Nadal
Nadal holds to love. The pressure swings back to Djokovic. He’s two holds of serve away from taking this match to a fifth set.
Tom Kershaw31 May 2022 23:32
French Open 2022: Djokovic 4-1* Nadal
Djokovic was cruising towards a hold of serve at 40-0 but Nadal fights back again. He charges in to reach a cute backhand drop shot, flicks a return over the net and then takes the point with a perfectly executed backhand smash. His efforts are in vain though as Djokovic hurls himself into another huge groundstroke that this time Nadal can’t absorb. The players have already been out on court for 3h 25m and yet somehow they don’t seem exhausted.
Tom Kershaw31 May 2022 23:30
French Open 2022: Djokovic 3-0* Nadal
Djokovic holds to love. If it was all but destined beforehand that this match would go five sets, it feels inevitable now.
Tom Kershaw31 May 2022 23:20
French Open 2022: Djokovic *2-0 Nadal
Nadal’s attempt at a backhand passing shot clips the top of the net and causes Djokovic to frame his volley. He’s furious at that stroke of misfortune and smashes his racket against the net cord. It’s a great display of passion for the viewer at home but the partisan crowd on Court Philippe-Chatrier don’t approve of such petulance and they jeer and boo.
Nadal compounds Djokovic’s misery with a deft volley winner of his own to regain ascendancy in the game, but it doesn’t last long as the Serbian produces a signature return. A Nadal forehand then drifts long and it’s break point Djokovic.
Nadal thinks he’s produced an exquisite backhand drop shot, having been pushed so far behind the baseline, but the umpire gets out of his chair to have a look at the line and the ball is called out. Replays show that he was correct. Djokovic has the break at the start of the fourth!
Tom Kershaw31 May 2022 23:18
French Open 2022: Djokovic 1-0* Nadal
Djokovic makes another double fault at 30-15 and the pressure is immediately on the Serbian at the start of the fourth. He produces a magnificent drop shot though to alleviate that danger and a big serve sets up a driving forehand winner to seal an important hold after fading away at the end of the last set.
Tom Kershaw31 May 2022 23:11
French Open 2022: Nadal wins third set
A rollercoaster match stops for another brief moment of respite. Nadal closes out the set without any great difficulty and leads 2-1. But after what we’ve seen so far, surely a rousing Djokovic comeback is a formality?
He made 16 unforced errors in that set, which is very unlike the Serbian.
Tom Kershaw31 May 2022 23:05
French Open 2022: Djokovic 2-5* Nadal
Another patchy game from Djokovic allows Nadal to make a simple hold and ward off the threat of another comeback. Djokovic then quickly holds to love. That has been a very rare occurrence in this epic match.
Tom Kershaw31 May 2022 22:59
French Open 2022: Djokovic 1-4* Nadal
Nadal breaks again! He produces a stunning forehand winner down the line to take it to 30-30 and Djokovic double faults. Djokovic’s attempt at a passing shot cross-court then flies long. Nadal is firmly back in control again, but we’ve been here before…
Tom Kershaw31 May 2022 22:55