The Spaniard is keen to avoid a night match on Tuesday (Pictures: Getty Images)

Rafael Nadal has urged Roland Garros to schedule his quarter-final clash against Novak Djokovic during the day after admitting the match could be his last ever at the French Open.

The Spaniard, who has won the Grand Slam 13 times and is the defending champion, has been struggling with a foot injury that could bring an end to his long and glittering career – though he pushed through the pain barrier to beat Felix Auger-Aliassime in a gruelling five-setter in the last 16.

That victory set up his first meeting with Djokovic in a year with the match scheduled to be played under the lights on Tuesday night – conditions Nadal would prefer not to play in.

Nadal was given a tough test against Auger-Aliassime (Picture: EPA)

‘The match with Djokovic could be my last here and I know Roland Garros by day and I would prefer to play by day,’ the 35-year-old told reporters.

‘I don’t have a [recent] test against him because my last match against him was here last year I think, so I didn’t play this kind of match for the last three months.

‘It’s going to be a big challenge for me. I think he’s already won the last nine matches in a row, winning in Rome and now winning here in straight sets every match. He will be confident.

‘I know what my situation is and I accept it well, and I’m going to fight for it. I can’t complain much, I am in the quarter-finals of Roland Garros.

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‘Two-and-a-half weeks ago, even if I had good hopes, positive hopes after Rome, I didn’t even know if I would be able to be here.

‘So I’m just enjoying the fact that I am here for one more year and, being honest, every match that I play here I don’t know if it’s going to be my last match here in Roland Garros in my tennis career. That’s my situation now.

‘Of course I went through a tough process again with my foot so I don’t know what can happen in the near future with my career.

Nadal has been struggling with a serious foot injury (Picture: Getty)

‘But that’s why I’m just trying to enjoy as much as possible and fight as much as I can to keep living the dream that is keeping playing tennis and being back in a very advanced round of Roland Garros playing against the world number one.

‘That’s it, I hope to be able to give myself a chance to play at the highest level possible and then let’s see.’

Explaining why he dislikes playing at night earlier this week, Nadal said: ‘I don’t like to play on clay during the night because the humidity is higher, the ball is slower, and there can be very heavy conditions especially when it’s cold.’


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