“Going to Keep Fighting”: Rafael Nadal Ready to Battle Against Next-Gens for More Grand Slams

Published 05/12/2021, 2:33 AM EDT
PARIS, FRANCE – OCTOBER 11: Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates after winning a point during his Men’s Singles Final against Novak Djokovic of Serbia on day fifteen of the 2020 French Open at Roland Garros on October 11, 2020 in Paris, France. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)


Spanish World No. 3 Rafael Nadal will play his last tournament at the Italian Open 2021 before the French Open. Despite failing in the previous two Masters 1000 events, he is optimistic about defending his title in Paris.

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In 2021, the big three of tennis haven’t reached the final in any of the three Masters 1000 events. While this might be strange for the fans, it didn’t come as a surprise to the 20-time Grand Slam champion from Mallorca.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Madrid Open – Caja Magica, Madrid, Spain – May 7, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal reacts during his quarter final match against Germany’s Alexander Zverev REUTERS/Sergio Perez TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Instead, he insisted that the time is ripe for the new generation players to win at such events. The Masters 1000 winners of the year were Hubert Hurkacz at the Miami Masters, Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Monte-Carlo Masters, and Alexander Zverev at the Madrid Masters.

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“It is normal that after almost 20 years on the [ATP] tour, there is another generation that are winning tournaments. We have been achieving almost every single important event for the last 19 years,” Nadal said.

In the Big 3’s defense, the 34-year-old explained that Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and he are missing more tournaments now. He added that they need to accept that nothing is forever.

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Rafael Nadal accepts next-generation challenge at French Open 2021

Rafael Nadal, 34, is a four-time consecutive and record 13-time winner at the Roland Garros. He is looking forward to adding one more title to that list to continue his love affair in Paris.

While the Spaniard accepted that the big three haven’t won any Masters in 2021 yet, he also revealed that he would not stop. Moreover, he is aiming to make the lives of the new-generation players tough on French soil.

“Nothing strange. 100% ready to accept that. But I am going to keep fighting,” the Spaniard added. “That means that in three weeks, there is another Grand Slam that I like to play. I am going to fight to try to play well there.”

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Nadal’s road at the Italian Open 2021

The record nine-time Italian Open champion will face 19-year-old Italian Jannik Sinner in his opening match. Although he is wary of Sinner’s opponent’s improving game, Nadal is waiting to show his best in return.

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Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Madrid Open – Caja Magica, Madrid, Spain – May 7, 2021 Germany’s Alexander Zverev and Spain’s Rafael Nadal after their quarter final match REUTERS/Sergio Perez

Furthermore, Nadal might also meet his Madrid Open quarterfinals opponent and eventual winner Alexander Zverev in Rome. With a tough draw ahead in Italy, Rafa will aim at testing himself to the core. Only time will tell what he can achieve this year.

Do you think Nadal can win the Italian Open 2021?

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Purav Joshi

802 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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