“I Messed it Up”: Rafael Nadal Unofficially Leaks Matteo Berrettini’s Withdrawal From Australian Open 2021

Published 02/15/2021, 10:14 AM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 11, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal acknowledges a fan during his second round match against Michael Mmoh of the U.S. REUTERS/Loren Elliott


Rafael Nadal often provides some deep insight into his game at every press conference. From time to time, the 20-time Grand Slam champion also has some funny and humorous moments during his media interviews, and Monday was one of those instances.

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Nadal defeated Fabio Fognini in straight sets on Rod Laver Arena and went for his post-match presser awaiting his next opponent at the Australian Open 2021.

Stefanos Tsitsipas and Matteo Berrettini were scheduled to appear on the court for their 4th round tie later in the night session. However, moments before their match, Berrettini withdrew from the tournament due to an injury.

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While everyone awaited the exciting match to find out Nadal’s next opponent, the Spaniard, apparently, already knew what awaited him.

Tennis – A Day at the Drive Exhibition – Memorial Drive Tennis Club, Adelaide, Australia – January 29, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal reacts during his match against Austria’s Dominic Thiem REUTERS/Morgan Sette

Rafael Nadal lets one slip in his post-match presser

When asked about his quarter-final match in the presser, Nadal let slip that he will face Tsitsipas. This was much before it was made official by the player and the officials.

“Wednesday, against Tsitsipas, I think,” said Nadal. He then looked at who was presumably the media manager, adding, “No? It’s official?” Nadal was then told that the news was not official yet, and the Spanish legend realized he had let one slip.

The journalists and interviewers were confused as well before Nadal looked back at them and continued. The humble champion then apologized for his ‘unforced error’, and the mood was lightened in the room. Rafa then jokingly said it was not his fault.

“I think, I heard that Berrettini was a little bit injured. But not official at all. Sorry for that,” Nadal said. “I messed it up…but not my fault,” Nadal concluded with a laugh.

Nevertheless, Nadal’s focus will be on navigating the Tsitsipas challenge on Wednesday. The Greek star is in fine form in his quest for a maiden Grand Slam title.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 11, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal acknowledges a fan during his second round match against Michael Mmoh of the U.S. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Rafa’s quest for a record-setting title now gets tougher

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Nadal is nursing a back injury himself, which seems to be getting better with every match. The 2009 Australian Open champion is yet to drop a set at the 2021 edition of the tournament. He looks strong, despite some rustiness coming into the event.

The path from here only gets tougher for Nadal, as he aims to win a record-setting 21st Major title. If Nadal defeats the Greek player, he would then set up a semi-final battle against either Daniil Medvedev or Andrey Rublev, both of whom are in supreme form.

On the other side of the draw, Novak Djokovic is still alive in the tournament despite battling an injury himself. However, Nadal’s primary focus as of now will be on the quarter-final contest.

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Aayush Majumdar

998 articles

Aayush Majumdar is a NASCAR content strategist, a Tennis Writer, and a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. He is well-tenured as a tennis and NASCAR writer, with over 900 articles across both sports. After pursuing a Post Graduate program in Sports Management, Aayush explored various roles in Sports Media, including a Sports Reporting role at a leading English daily.

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