Nadal’s four-hour marathon to attend his quarters appointment with Djokovic

Marathon of 4 hours and 21 minutes in the land of Paris to go one step further in the Gallic tournament. Spanish tennis player Rafa Nadal beat Canadian Auger-Aliassime (3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3) to reach the quarter-final round of Roland Garros, the second ‘Grand Slam’ of the season, where he will face the number one and defending champion Novak Djokovic.

Nadal had the first serious rival this week in Paris with the pupil of his uncle Toni. Auger-Aliassime, a powerful rival, young and regularly on the dirt tour, entered without complexes and snatched the Spanish his first set of the tournament. He took control of the 13-time champion and still gave himself another bit of recital to win the fifth set against a near-perfect Felix. The one from Manacor did not stay stopped with the 1-5 e started an awakening that, although he did not succeed to avoid giving up the opening set, he did show him the way and the level he needed. In the second set he still had to defend against the American, who brushed the ‘break’ in the third game. Nadal grew up and smelled the blood at the decisive moment.

The Spanish he broke in the eighth game and then leveled the match. The one from Manacor did not finish submitting his rival, with options for both in the third set that Nadal scored, taking better advantage of his options and without any fatigue approaching the three hours of the match. The fourth set seemed like an obligation. However, Auger-Aliassime returned to the game with game and head, while Nadal saw the challenge lengthen and complicate. The Spaniard entered the rush and left many options for the Canadian to add two breaks (3-6). The Balearic was seen for the third time, in 112 matches, in a fifth set in Paris.

The king of the earth curbed the anxiety to win and he gave no more presents. His 21-year-old rival held his pulse until he felt pressure from the 21-year-old champion in the eighth game. On the attack, Nadal broke and then fastened the declaration of intentions of the head of the Philippe Chatrier, without physical problems despite the four-and-a-half hours, for the great challenge of a fresher Djokovic. For your 59th confrontation with ‘Nole’, defeated in the semi-finals in Paris last year, will have to improve the Spanish. The number one goes like a shot on the French land, with the run he brought from Belgrade and Rome, and Diego Schwartzman suffered in the fourth round (6-1, 6-3, 6-3). The Argentine was far from the battle that planted the Serbian in 2017, although he started breaking in the first two sets. The champion’s response was overwhelming, with five games in a row in the first act and six in the second. In the third set no door was left open for a ‘Nole’ who feels strong in search of his 21st ‘Grand Slam’, after starting the year with deportation in Australia.