Rafael Nadal will take on Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals of the 2022 French Open on Tuesday. The match has been scheduled for the night session, much to the chagrin of Nadal and his coach Carlos Moya.
It is a well-known fact that the Mallorcan prefers to play in the day session under the sun, given that heat and lack of humidity add more venom to his heavy groundstrokes. Playing in cold and damp night conditions not only makes it difficult for the 13-time champion to impart more spin but also makes it easier for his opponents to breach his defense.
Players with Nadal and Djokovic's status have the luxury of asking to be allocated certain sessions, although organizers may choose to ignore such requests. The Serb even hinted recently that while he would not mind night sessions, the Mallorcan would not have a similar view.
After Tuesday's schedule was released, Carlos Moya was quizzed on the topic by RMCSport, and he did not hide his displeasure at his ward being given the night session.
"I would not speak of lack of respect," Moya said. "Here at Roland-Garros, Rafa has credit, he has won the tournament thirteen times and if he has a request you should listen to him. "
Admitting how no player is "bigger" than the tournament, Moya pointed out that Nadal has legendary status in Paris.
"He is part of the history of Roland-Garros, we know that no one is greater than Roland Garros, no one is bigger than the Grand Slam tournaments, but in the end it's about business and we understand," he added.
"I don't like night sessions on clay, I am very clear with that" - Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal made his feelings regarding night sessions at the French Open clear during the first week of the tournament.
"I don't like night sessions on clay. I am very clear with that," Nadal said.
He explained the rationale behind his choice, explaining how the humidity reduces the speed of the ball and the conditions become heavier due to the cold weather.
"I don't like to play on clay during the night because humidity is higher, the ball is slower and there can be very heavy conditions especially when it's cold," he explained.
The 21-time Major champion further pointed out that claycourt tennis becomes a different ball game at night than what it is during the day.
"I think that makes a big difference on the way you play tennis on clay during the night and during the day," he added.