“Not a Great Game”: Toni Nadal Says Neither Rafael Nadal Nor Stefanos Tsitsipas Played Well in Barcelona Final

Published 04/28/2021, 5:19 PM EDT
Tennis – ATP 500 – Barcelona Open – Real Club de Tennis Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain – April 25, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal and Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas pose with their trophies after the final REUTERS/Albert Gea


Nadal’s uncle and longtime former coach Toni has given his take on the final of the Barcelona Open, which was won by his nephew. The current World No. 2 Rafael Nadal came through a spirited challenge from the newly-crowned Monte-Carlo champion Stefanos Tsitsipas to clinch a record 12th championship title.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

However, the revered coach who is currently working with Canadian tennis star Felix Auger-Aliassime wasn’t too impressed with how the final went down.

Spanish publication Cadena Ser quoted the veteran as telling reporters that the Barcelona final fell short of his expectations as neither his nephew nor the Greek World No. 5 “played well.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Toni says it’s good Rafael Nadal won the Barcelona title despite not playing his best tennis as it will give him a boost

Toni added that though it wasn’t a “great game”, it made for great viewing as both players, though not at their imperious best, went all out for glory.

Tennis – ATP 500 – Barcelona Open – Real Club de Tennis Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain – April 25, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal celebrates with the trophy after winning the Barcelona Open against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Albert Gea

“It was not a great game, I think neither of them played well, although it was very exciting,” said the coach, who is still the director of Rafa Nadal Tennis Academy.

(Quotes have been translated with Google Translate)

Though not impressed with his nephew’s error-strewn performance, Toni said that it was good that Nadal came out on the winning side despite not playing his best tennis as it will give him a lot of confidence going into the upcoming claycourt battles in Madrid, Rome, and the French OpenHe added that his nephew made some mistakes that he normally doesn’t on clay.

“For Rafael, I think it was something important that he was able to beat the No.5 in the world and win without playing very well, with mistakes that he normally does not make, is something that can give him a lot of morale for the following tournaments,” the experienced helmer said.

Nadal had opened his Barcelona campaign with a nervy win over Belarussian qualifier Ilya Ivashka

Nadal opened his campaign with a nervy win over Belarussian qualifier Ilya Ivashka and kept getting better as he moved deeper into the tournament.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

In the championship clash, the 13-time French Open champion recovered from a break of serve to take the opening set.

However, in a near rerun of the Spaniard’s shock defeat in the semi-final of this year’s Australian Open, Tsitsipas won the second-set tie-break to take the match to a decider. But Nadal leveraged a decisive break in the final set to prevail 6-4, 6-7 (6-8), 7-5.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

“Hyped”: Stefanos Tsitsipas, Rafael Nadal, and Others Describe Denis Shapovalov in One Word

6 months ago

 

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Priyabrata Chowdhury

1101 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT