Stefanos’ Win Over Novak Djokovic Could Have Mitigated Rafael Nadal’s Disappointment at French Open 2021, says Uncle Toni Nadal

Published 06/16/2021, 5:49 AM EDT


Novak Djokovic won the French Open 2021 last week, after beating Stefanos Tsitsipas. The Serbian had a tough road on his way towards glory on the clay court. With a difficult draw in the tournament, the World No. 1 overcame all difficulties and all odds, and the world celebrated the Serbian’s 19th Grand Slam title. However, Toni Nadal, ex-coach and uncle of Rafael Nadal had a rather unusual opinion on Djokovic’s win.

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After Rafael Nadal’s semifinal loss to Djokovic, Toni gave his take on the final and said Stefanos was the only player who could stop Djokovic from winning the title.

Throughout these last two weeks of competition I was telling my children. The player that I saw as most capable of beating the Serbian on clay if the opportunity arose, apart from my nephew, of course, was precisely the Greek. And for much of the meeting I held out hope that it would happen,” said Toni in an article for El Pais.

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(Quotes have been translated)

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO – APRIL 13: Rafael Nadal of Spain in a practice session as uncle and coach Toni Nadal watches on during day two of the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters tennis at the Monte-Carlo Sporting Club on April 13, 2015 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Watch this story: Top Dramatic moments from 2021 Clay court season

Toni Nadal gives his opinion on the French Open 2021 semi-final

The encounter between Nadal and Djokovic in the semifinal was lacking the spark, according to Toni. “The meeting was not of the highest level… Novak was uncomfortable and nervous in the beginning, and Rafael was somewhat imprecise,” said Toni.

Nadal’s semifinal loss to Djokovic was a tough one on his uncle and Toni said, “The only thing that could have somewhat alleviated the disappointment over Rafael’s defeat in his Roland Garros semi-final match against Novak Djokovic would have been that he was defeated in the final by Stefanos Tsitsipas.”

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 11, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic shakes hands with Spain’s Rafael Nadal after winning their semi final match REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

Rafael Nadal has won the French Open title a record 13 times, which is more than anyone else. He is regarded as the clay-court champion by tennis fans all over the world. The loss to his rival, Novak Djokovic, was a tough one to digest for his uncle and the whole of Spain.

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The former World No. 1 will be looking forward to the Wimbledon Championships, beginning later this month. With the whole world watching, the prestigious tournament will serve as a chance for redemption for the Spaniard.

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Suchit Halder

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