French Open news: Rafael Nadal admits Felix Auger-Aliassime was difficult to beat

Rafael Nadal needed five sets to overcome his less-favoured opposition

Rafael Nadal set up a mouthwatering French Open quarter-final clash against Novak Djokovic after beating Felix Auger-Aliassime in five sets on Sunday.

The Spaniard had had a relatively easy time of things before his match on Sunday and Auger-Aliassime proved to be his first real test of the 2022 French Open.

After losing the first set, he had to dig deep to avoid a shock loss and eventually managed to take the tie 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in a very break heavy encounter.

"It has been an important victory for me, without a doubt," Nadal said. "I did not start the match well. It was a tough first set for me.

"After coming back, I finished the third playing well and then the fourth was tough.

"It was difficult, he has a huge serve. He puts you under pressure and I was not able to push him back.

"I had to do something different at the end of the match. I am happy about the attitude at the end as I played more aggressive and went more to the net and that made a difference."

While Nadal no doubt felt shattered after the match, the experience will stand in him good stead for his quarter-final against Djokovic.

"We know each other well and have a lot of history," he said.

"We are in Roland-Garros, it is my favourite place and I will be focused.

"I will try my best as always, I do not know what will happen, but I can guarantee and I will fight until the end."

Latest news