Stefanos Tsitsipas Joins Dominic Thiem in Outlining His Biggest Goal of Defeating Rafael Nadal at French Open

Published 01/27/2021, 1:25 AM EST
LONDON, ENGLAND -: Rafael Nadal of Spain and Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece embrace at the net after their singles match during Day Six of the Nitto ATP Finals at The O2 Arena on November 15, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Linnea Rheborg/Getty Images)


Tennis is a highly competitive sport, and Rafael Nadal is one of the best competitors the game has seen. Moreover, he is a record 13-time French Open champion, which defines his utter dominance on clay. However, Greek World No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas has goals to get past the ‘King of Clay’ this year.

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In his learning years, the Athenian trained rigorously on a clay court. And there is no doubt that he’s one of the finest players on clay today. Last year, Stefanos even made it to the semi-finals at the Roland-Garros.

Rafael Nadal of Spain hugs the Musketeers’ Cup as he celebrates victory following the men’s singles final against Dominic Thiem of Austria during day fifteen of the 2018 French Open at Roland Garros on June 10, 2018, in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Though this was an incredible feat for a 22-year-old player, Stefanos knew something was missing, and he wants to fulfill that missing part in 2021. He is looking forward to beating Rafa Nadal on clay.

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“A really good goal would be maybe beat Rafa on clay or Roland-Garros, that would be a really nice goal. I think everyone would love that, and especially me,” said the Greek professional. Similarly, Austrian World No. 3 Dominic Thiem also aims to beat the best player of clay at the French Open and take over his throne.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas has set his heart on beating Rafael Nadal

The highest-ranked Greek player has challenged Spain’s greatest seven times to date. Out of the seven times, they have met thrice on a clay court, with Tsitsipas winning one. That one win is also Tsitsipas’s only win against Rafa.

While the 22-year-old dreams of winning again on clay, he also says Rafa brings out the best in him.

“I have played him a lot of times, I have a negative record against him but every single time I go out, I really just want to beat him. And I always want to give my best against him,” Tsitsipas said.

Even after knowing how much he wants to win, the 2019 ATP Finals winner knows it’s not that easy. Tsitsipas also explained why the 20-time Grand Slam champion is so hard to beat.

“But he’s such a difficult player to play against, very difficult, very consistent, incredible fighting spirit. I consider myself a fighter, but he’s completely next level, incomparable,” Tsitsipas explained.

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Rafael Nadal of Spain looks dejected during his semi-final singles to match against Alex de Minaur of Australia on day nine of the 2020 ATP Cup at Ken Rosewall Arena in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

However, before they reach Paris, they will lock horns in Melbourne Park for the ATP Cup 2021. Team Spain, Team Greece, and Team Australia are drawn in Group B for this nation-wise team tournament. The event will begin on the first day of February this year.

Will Tsitsipas fulfill his dream of beating Rafael Nadal at the French Open this year?

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Purav Joshi

932 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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