“Idol”: Jennifer Brady and Jessica Pegula in Awe of Rafael Nadal’s Fighting Spirit at Citi Open 2021

Published 08/05/2021, 7:26 AM EDT
Aug 4, 2021; Washington, DC, USA; Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates during a match against Jack Sock of the United States (not pictured) during the Citi Open at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports


Competing after two months, Rafael Nadal defeated Jack Sock 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 in a thrilling second-round match at the 2021 Citi Open. Dealing with a left foot injury, Nadal fought through the pain and sailed past his opponent in over three gruesome hours.

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Despite the foot issue hindering his movement during the match, Nadal’s fighting spirit came to his rescue, which has been his biggest strength in the toughest of situations over his glittering career.

Aug 4, 2021; Washington, DC, USA; Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates after winning the match against Jack Sock of the United States (not pictured) during the Citi Open at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Watching Nadal’s greatness on-court, the WTA stars Jessica Pegula and Jennifer Brady tweeted to express their admiration for the 20-time Grand Slam champion.

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WTA stars hail Rafael Nadal

In a tweet, Jessica Pegula hailed Nadal as one of the greatest players of all time. Impressed by Nadal’s never-say-die attitude despite reeling under pain, the American tennis player applauded the fighting qualities of the Spaniard.

“Nadal one of the goats, limping around, but fighting with everything he has to win this match. Nobody does it better,” said Pegula.

Interestingly, this year’s Australian Open finalist, Jennifer Brady, quoted tweeted Pegula’s and referred to Nadal as her sporting idol.

“#idol,” wrote Brady, expressing her fondness for Nadal.

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Playing at the Citi Open for the first time, Nadal enthralled the Washington D.C. crowd, particularly with his impressive tweener in the first set, which bought the spectators on their feet.

With the victory, Nadal bettered his flawless win-loss record against Sock to 6-0. Up next, the Spaniard will face the South African, Lloyd Harris, in the third round of the ATP 500 event. It would be the first time Nadal would play against the 24-year-old Harris.

Aug 4, 2021; Washington, DC, USA; Rafael Nadal of Spain goes to the net against Jack Sock of the United States (not pictured) during the Citi Open at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Meanwhile, experiencing pain in the foot even after a two-month break would certainly be a concern for Nadal as the US Open is less than a month away.

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With two back-to-back Masters 1000 events after the Citi Open, Nadal would hope to regain full fitness and then aim for a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title in New York.

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Kshitij Tayal

464 articles

Kshitij Tayal is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having played district-level tennis competitions, Kshitij is also a tenured journalist of the sport with over four years of experience. At EssentiallySports, he pens down some thought-provoking pieces on players and tournaments across the ATP and WTA.

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