Thirteen-time Roland-Garros champion Rafael Nada advanced to the French Open quarterfinals for the 16th time with a win over Felix Auger-Aliassime in the fourth round on Sunday.
Nadal played 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in the four-hour, 21-minute contest, as Felix Auger-Aliassime pushed him to the limit before the Spanish superstar prevailed in five brilliant sets on Court Philippe-Chatrier.
“It has been an important victory for me, without a doubt. 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,” Nadal said.
The victory sets up a high-profile matchup in the quarterfinals on Tuesday, where the Spaniard will meet Novak Djokovic for the 59th time in their careers.