“Precision and Shots Haven’t Been Effective”: Rafael Nadal Dissects His Flaws After French Open 2021 Exit to Novak Djokovic

Published 06/12/2021, 6:34 AM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 11, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal during his semi final match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes


It was the semifinal day at the French Open 2021 and World No. 1 Novak Djokovic was up against 13-time champion Rafael Nadal. It was a match for the ages and both players were involved in a number of gruesome points. On a rare occasion, the Spaniard suffered defeat after four sets and over four hours of some intense quality play.

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After the match, Rafael Nadal answered questions during his post-match press conference. He analyzed his flaws and the reason why the match slipped out of his grasp. Sometimes, it’s just not your day, and the Spaniard felt it was one such day at the office for him.

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/Gonzalo Fuentes

The 35-year-old stated, “That’s the sport, sometimes you win sometimes you lose. I tried to get my best. It probably wasn’t my day out there even after the fight I put up. A lot of effort, precision, and shots haven’t been that effective.

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“Tonight against a player like him who likes taking the ball early, you are not able to take him out of his positions then it’s very difficult. Even when I had a big chance, with setpoint 6-5 second set.”

Rafael Nadal did not capitalize on the crucial moments

There came a point when Rafa made a double fault and when the opportunity came for him to place a simple volley, the Spaniard pushed it out, which did mount the pressure. In the end, if an athlete wants to come out on top, they cannot afford to commit such errors especially against a player of Novak Djokovic’s quality.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 9, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal during his quarter final match against Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

The 20-time Grand Slam winner added, “That’s it, anything can happen at that moment. Then I miss it, make a double fault and easy volley in the tiebreak but it’s true that there were crazy points out there and the fatigue is there too. This kind of mistake can happen but if you want to win you can’t make these mistakes. It was a good fight, I tried my best but today was not my day.” 

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Watch this story: Top Reactions of Novak Djokovic when he can’t handle Rafael Nadal’s game

Rafael Nadal speaks with the press following his semifinal loss to Novak Djokovic.#RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/BQYJjBDxZN

— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) June 11, 2021

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As the French Open 2021 is soon about to come to an end, the final will be played between Novak Djokovic and first-time finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas on Sunday. It will be interesting to see if the experience of the Serb wins or the hunger of the youngster exceeds.

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Rohan Kollare

862 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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