“Why Aren’t the Lights on at 10 Am”: Rafael Nadal Displeased With Lights on Philippe-Chartier During French Open 2021 Battle Against Jannik Sinner

Published 06/07/2021, 12:40 PM CDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 7, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal during his fourth round match against Italy’s Jannik Sinner REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

World number three Rafael Nadal, who is unstoppable at the on-going French Open, is looking all set to reach the quarter-finals on the Parisian clay. The Spaniard is two sets up against Jannik Sinner 7-5,6-3. Sinner started the match really well and even served for the first set at 5-4.


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But, nerves got the better of the Italian as he allowed Nadal to comeback into the first set. While the 20-time grand slam champion took a dominant lead of 4-1 in the second set, Sinner managed to crawl his way back by winning two back-to-back games.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 1, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal reacts during his first round match against Australia’s Alexei Popyrin REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

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Rafael Nadal expressed his displeasure with lights turning on at Phillippe-Chatrier court

Again, the youngster failed to hold onto his serve as the Spaniard’s return game became too good for Sinner. Even though the chances of the Italian bouncing back to win the contest are slim, he will surely try and take at least a set off Rafael Nadal.

During this fourth round contest, the 20-time grand slam champion was seen unhappy due to the lights that were on during the match. The Spaniard was seen complaining to the umpire about the lights.

Why aren’t the lights on at 10am?” the Spaniard asked the umpire.

While it’s an evening match, there is perfectly enough light for both the players to see the ball. There is no need for the lights to be turned on court Phillippe-Chatrier. But, the French Open organizers do this for broadcasting purposes.

To telecast/broadcast at the highest quality, companies request the organizers to turn on the lights when matches are played from the evening on show-courts.

Talking to the press after fourth-round match, Nadal expressed his opinion on how the lights were disturbing the quality of the match between him and Sinner.

“I think the lights went on too early. The court is covered from one side. When the sun was lower and hit the light, it created shadow on the court. It was tricky”, added Nadal.

The Spaniard also mentioned how in the past the lights weren’t till 8 or 9 pm.

In Roland Garros, we were playing without light forever, till 8 or 9. I didn’t understand why they had to put the light on so early. The answer was -“for TV”. But we had TV as well also in the past, with good image. The light is bothering the good show from the players”, concluded the 20-time major champion.


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Despite the trouble, the Spaniard defeated Sinner comfortably as he bageled the Italian in the third set. Nadal reached the French Open quarter-finals, where he will face Diego Schwartzman.


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Sagar Ashtakoula

199 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Having developed an interest in creating content, he mixed his passion for writing with his love for tennis for 2 years at SportsKeeda before joining the tennis team at EssentiallySports.