Rafael Nadal sets Novak Djokovic clash at Roland Garros 2022

Nadal roars to survive only his third ever Roland Garros five-setter, confirms Djokovic clash

Rafael Nadal has stepped up as the champion he is by defeating Felix Auger-Aliassime is an epic that lasted for more than four hours. 

The 13-time Roland Garros champion was taken to a fifth set for just the third time in his career at the Paris Slam as he triumphed 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

The victory means that a highly-anticipated 59th career showdown between Nadal and world number one Novak Djokovic after the Serb downed Diego Schwartzman earlier in the day.

That encounter will come a little less than a year on from their last, their 2021 semi-final tussle that end with victory in four sets for Djokovic.

In his post-match interview, Nadal told Alex Corretja: “It’s always incredible for me to play here on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

“The atmosphere is incomparable.

“For me playing here there is always so much emotion, on the most important court in my whole career.”

The only two other occasions when Nadal was pushed to a fifth set at Roland Garros came in 2011 and 2013.

The first time was in the first round of 2011 against John Isner, when the Spaniard was two sets to one down before storming back for the win.

The second was against none other than Djokovic in the 2013 semi-finals.

Nadal won 9-7 in the final set that day before clinching his eighth of 13 Paris crowns to date.

Looking ahead to their next battle on Tuesday, Nadal is not sure how it will go.

However, he did guarantee one thing ahead of the bout.

“I’m going to fight until the end, so many thanks,” he said to the crowd before signing off.


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