'I wish Rafael Nadal all the best, but it will be tough for him..' says beaten rival

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'I wish Rafael Nadal all the best, but it will be tough for him..' says beaten rival

Rafael Nadal and Felix Auger-Aliassime played an entertaining match in the Roland Garros fourth round on Sunday. The Spaniard prevailed 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in four hours and 21 minutes for a place in the 16th Roland Garros quarter-final.

Thus, Nadal remained undefeated in the clay-court five-setters and set a blockbuster clash against Novak Djokovic, their 59th on the Tour. Felix praised Rafa and his performance, wishing him all the best but admitting it would be very difficult for the Spaniard to beat three more tough opponents and claim the title.

Nadal has been dealing with a foot injury, but he decided to come to Paris and try his best at his beloved Major. Rafa could have defeated Felix earlier had he converted more break chances, creating 22 and seizing only six.

The Canadian earned five breaks to remain competitive and became the fourth player who kept Nadal on the court at Roland Garros for over four hours. Felix joined Robin Soderling, John Isner and Novak Djokovic on the list of players who took two sets away from Rafa in the Roland Garros clash.

Still, despite a great effort, he could not play his best tennis in the decider to hit the exit door. Rafa grabbed 17 points more than Felix and outplayed him in the mid-range and most extended exchanges. Nadal made the difference with the second serve, getting broken five times and seizing six out of 22 opportunities on the return to emerge at the top!

Rafael Nadal ousted Felix Auger-Aliassime in five sets at Roland Garros.

Nadal played on a high level in sets two and three to overcome a slow start and improve his chances. Auger-Aliassime forced a decider, and Nadal broke him once to forge the lead and bring the victory home.

Rafa should face Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz and Stefanos Tsitsipas en route to the 14th Roland Garros title, and we should see if he has enough in his body to achieve that. "I wish Rafa the very best; I admire him greatly in everything he has done.

He is somebody who I like, and I wish him the very best for the next match. But then I think he also knows it will be difficult against Novak. We played an extended match, and it's still the quarter-final. He needs three more wins to conquer the tournament and achieve his primary goal.

It will be a monumental effort for him to claim the title. As always before, Rafa and Novak should leave everything on the court, and it will be a great battle to watch," Felix Auger-Aliassime said.