“Have Been Inferior”: Rafael Nadal Reflects on Humiliating Defeat Against Alexander Zverev at Mutua Madrid Open 2021

Published 05/07/2021, 1:17 PM EDT
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


It was the night of the quarter-finals of the Mutua Madrid Open 2021 and World No.2 Rafael Nadal was up against Alexander Zverev. In an exciting contest, it was World No.6 Zverev who crushed Rafa in straight sets to reach the semis of the tournament. The final scoreline of the match was 6-4, 6-4.

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Interestingly, it is the first time when Alexander Zverev has defeated Rafael Nadal on clay. Rafa managed to win all three encounters against Zverev on the surface. With this, the German also broke the 7-match winning streak of the Spaniard.

In the post-match interview, Rafael Nadal revealed his feelings after his humiliating defeat. He mentioned that he committed several mistakes in both sets because of which he lost the match.

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“I feel like I’ve been taking steps forward, but when you go up a ladder, you can take a step back and I think that’s the way it has been today. Things started the same as in the previous games but, at the moment of truth in the moments in which I had to define the set, I did everything wrong making several mistakes,” said Nadal in the interview. (Translated by Google Translate)

Rafa highlighted that he should have finished both the sets in a better way. He couldn’t play his forehand freely and faced a lot of difficulties while returning the high serves of Zverev.

“Sad about the defeat”- Rafael Nadal

After the match, Rafa congratulated Zverev to put up a phenomenal show at the Mutua Madrid Open 2021. He also opened up about the areas where he actually faced some trouble against Zverev.

Spain’s Rafael Nadal reacts during his quarter-final match against Russia’s Andrey Rublev REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

“Playing against someone like Zverev, who puts you in trouble by taking out at 220km/ h, I have to hit the ball six meters from the line, even so, I hit him high over the shoulder and that is why I only need to give the maximum level. Zverev is a good player and I congratulate him on the victory… I have been inferior,” added the 20-time Grand Slam winner.

Rafa admitted that he was feeling sad as he missed an opportunity to win his sixth title in Madrid. He also talked about his next goal before the French Open 2021- to win the Italian Open 2021.

“Sad about the defeat because it was an opportunity for me wasted and I will work to continue giving me another next week. The trend of the land tour is ascending and now we will see what happens because the goal before Roland Garros is winning in Rome,” concluded the Spaniard.

Rafael Nadal will now travel to Rome to prepare for the Italian Open 2021. On the other hand, Alexander Zverev will advance to the semis of the Madrid Open 2021 where he’ll face Dominic Thiem tomorrow. Will Zverev be able to conquer Madrid this year?

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Anshul Singh

1270 articles

Anshul Singh is a tennis author at EssentiallySports, currently pursuing Journalism Honors from Delhi University. Having significant experience with content, Anshul has authored over 500 tennis articles. He has previously worked as a writer and an editor for DU Express, penning riveting articles on sports, politics, and culture.

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