“He Makes My Life Really Difficult”: Stefanos Tsitsipas Acclaims Rafael Nadal After Barcelona Open 2021 Final Loss

Published 04/26/2021, 2:18 AM EDT
Tennis – ATP 500 – Barcelona Open – Real Club de Tennis Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain – April 25, 2021 Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas holds a runners up trophy after losing the final against Spain’s Rafael Nadal REUTERS/Albert Gea


After scarping a match point, Stefanos Tsitsipas lost a chance to win his second consecutive title on clay this year. Most significantly, he missed out on beating King of Clay, Rafael Nadal, on his home turf in Barcelona.

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Looking back on the match point, the Greek World No. 5 cursed himself for netting a simple return on his backhand. However, he also lauded the Spaniard for helping him raise his level of tennis.

Tennis – ATP 500 – Barcelona Open – Real Club de Tennis Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain – April 25, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal and Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas pose with their trophies after the final REUTERS/Albert Gea

The 34-year-old Rafael Nadal had to stay at the top of his game for three hours and forty minutes to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-7(6), 7-5. Although being the runner-up is a remarkable achievement for the 22-year-old, it is not as good as the Barcelona Open 2021 title.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas on Barcelona Open 2021 loss to Rafael Nadal

In the post-match conference, Tsitsipas revealed that he was looking for the win and even had opportunities to get the same. But he despised the fact that for some reason, he could not get one.

“I felt like I could have pulled off better tennis today, but I am happy that I brought him so close; I was a match point up, I think. Sh*t happens that should not have happened and that ball on the match point. I was literally two centimeters away from winning that match,” the Greek said.

Meanwhile, nothing said is enough for the 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafa, who won his record-extending 12th Barcelona Open title. Hence, when inquired if the Spaniard’s fighting spirit wass an inspiration, Tsitsipas responded positively.

He said, “Yeah, for sure, it is. I haven’t seen anyone fight like this, and he makes my life really difficult on the court.”

Tennis – ATP 500 – Barcelona Open – Real Club de Tennis Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain – April 25, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal celebrates with the trophy after winning the Barcelona Open against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Albert Gea

Furthermore, the Monte-Carlo Masters champion added that such an opponent is good for his growth. “To accept those terms and play based on his desire to fight, it also makes me a better player,” Tsitsipas said. “I can see myself reaching my limits, so it’s definitely something good to have for my personal development.”

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Both players will have a week to start afresh at the Mutua Madrid Open 2021. Inarguably, they are two of the favorites to win the French Open title this year.

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Purav Joshi

652 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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