“Not Leave Free Space Against Top Guys”: Jannik Sinner’s Honest Revelation After Crushing Defeat Against Rafael Nadal at French Open 2021

Published 06/07/2021, 4:37 PM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 7, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal celebrates winning his fourth round match against Italy’s Jannik Sinner REUTERS/Christian Hartmann


If there’s a synonym for dominance on a tennis court, the almost unbeaten run of Rafael Nadal at the French Open perfectly manifests that. It has been a mammoth task for any opponent to even take a set off Nadal at Roland Garros, let alone coming close to beating him.

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The latest to fall prey to the Spaniard’s wrath is Italy’s young rising star, Jannik Sinner.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 7, 2021, Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his fourth round match against Italy’s Jannik Sinner REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

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At one point in the first set, Sinner was serving to win it at 5-4. Nerves got the better of the youngster as he took a downward curve from there till the end of the match. There were moments in the match where the Italian played high-quality tennis from both forehand and the backhand wings, but it was never enough to beat the 13-time French Open champion.

With his heavy top-spin-induced forehand shots, the Spaniard took control of the baseline exchanges and pushed Sinner from corner to corner, and extracted errors from the youngster.

Along with this, Nadal’s first serves were efficient as he won a staggering 81% of points, whereas Sinner managed to win just 42% of points on his first serve. The Italian failed to create an impact on his serve, thereby allowing Nadal to come up with an excellent return game often in the match.

Sinner explained what went wrong for him against Rafael Nadal at French Open

Talking about how difficult it was to play against the 13-time French Open champion, Sinner reflected on what went wrong during the match in the post-match press conference.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 7, 2021, Italy’s Jannik Sinner in action during his fourth round match against Spain’s Rafael Nadal REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Nadal was pushing the ball very hard. It doesn’t lead to play the tennis you want to play. The way is very long. I hope I can play again against him. The only chance is to back to work and to see what will happen the next time,” added the Italian.

Jannik Sinner also talked about how he lost a significant opportunity in the first set.

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“I would have won the first set, but I would have needed to win two other sets. I’m trying not leave free space against top guys like him. They’re very strong mentally as we saw with Novak vs. Musetti. Nadal won 20 Slams and 13 RG for a reason,” Sinner concluded.

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Despite his best efforts, Sinner failed to create an impact against Nadal. The next-gen star has been showing consistent improvement in his ranking and will test his luck on the grass-court season this year.

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Sagar Ashtakoula

411 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Having developed an interest in creating content, he mixed his passion for writing with his love for tennis for 2 years at SportsKeeda before joining the tennis team at EssentiallySports.

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