French Open

Djokovic, Nadal eye last 16

2013-06-01 09:41
Novak Djokovic (AFP)
Paris - Rafael Nadal hopes to use his anger over French Open scheduling to fire him into the last 16 on Saturday while world number one Novak Djokovic takes on Grigor Dimitrov in a mouth-watering clash.

Defending champion Nadal, bidding to become the first man to win the same Grand Slam title eight times, faces colourful Italian 27th seed Fabio Fognini who he beat in straight sets in Rome two weeks ago.

The Spaniard will be playing for the second successive day while Fognini, who made the quarter-finals in 2011, had the luxury of a day off on Friday.

"The schedule was wrong, it was a bad decision," said Nadal, after his attempt to play his third round match against Martin Klizan on Thursday was foiled by the rain.

He was furious that he had been scheduled as third match on Court Suzanne Lenglen, despite warnings of the weather closing in and with Fognini having finished his match, second up, on an outside court in the early evening.

Nadal was further incensed when he was told that Fognini had been given an earlier start time because he and opponent Lukas Rosol had doubles to play later together in the day.

"Today I was playing three hours while my opponent was in the locker room watching TV," said Nadal after needing four sets to beat Klizan on Friday.

"I cannot play third when my opponent has played second. The excuse they gave me was that they had to play doubles, but that's a joke. In that case I should sign up for doubles to be a priority."

Top seed Djokovic, who needs a French Open to become just the eighth man to complete the career Grand Slam, faces 22-year-old Dimitrov, just weeks after the Bulgarian stunned the 26-year-old Serb in Madrid.

Dimitrov, who has spent his formative years shaking off comparisons to Roger Federer, will be playing in the third round of a major for the first time.

"He's still young and he has definitely potential to be one of the top players, but it's a very long way for him," said Djokovic.

Also in third round action on Saturday are defending women's champion Maria Sharapova who faces China's Zheng Jie.

The Russian holds a 2-1 lead over Zheng although the Chinese will be buoyed by her win in Indian Wells in 2010.

Third seeded Victoria Azarenka, the Australian Open champion, faces French 31st seed Alize Cornet in the opening match on Court Philippe Chatrier.

Read more on:    french open  |  rafael nadal  |  novak djokovic  |  tennis

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk


Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.