“They’re Getting Older”: Stefanos Tsitsipas on Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal Losses at Monte-Carlo Masters 2021

Published 04/17/2021, 2:46 PM EDT
Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Monte Carlo Masters – Monte-Carlo Country Club, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France – April 17, 2021 Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas reacts during his semi final match against Britain’s Dan Evans REUTERS/Eric Gaillard


Greek tennis star Stefanos Tsitsipas has shared his thoughts on the shocking twin exits, in the form of World No.1 Novak Djokovic and 11-time champion Rafael Nadal, from the Monte-Carlo Masters.

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After breezing past Englishman Dan Evans, who took out Djokovic in straight sets, to reach his third Masters 1000 final, the current World No.5 cheekily said that age may finally be catching up with the Serb and his Big-3 rival.

Stefanos Tsitsipas doesn’t think the break after the Australian Open affected Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic

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Speaking to reporters after his emphatic semi-final win, Tsitsipas added that he did not believe that the extended breaks that they took after the Australian Open could have affected their rhythm in the tournament.

Djokovic took a breather from Tour action to recover from an abdominal muscle tear that he sustained on the way to lifting a record ninth Australian Open title.

Nadal, too, skipped a clutch of Tour events after his semi-final exit at Melbourne Park, citing back spasms.

“Everyone likes to think they’re getting old. In fact, they are getting older”, the World No.5 said, adding, “It doesn’t seem to bother them at all (smiles)”.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia shakes hands with Rafael Nadal of Spain after winning the match point during their final singles match daring day 10 of the ATP Cup at Ken Rosewall Arena in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Andy Cheung/Getty Images)

He said both Nadal and Djokovic had taken such breaks from the Tour previously and made strong comebacks without showing any signs of rustiness.

“They seem to be in good shape again, just as they were before, despite taking a two or three-month break,” Tsitsipas said.

“They always find solutions to everything”: Stefanos Tsitisipas on Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic

Tsitsipas noted that they also seemed to adapt to the conditions rather well as “they always find solutions to everything”.

Both Nadal and Djokovic opened their campaigns with clinical wins over Federico Delbonis and Miami Open runners-up Jannik Sinner, with the Spaniard following up with a rout of Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov.

“This is what makes them great players, a bit like the legends of our sport,” Tsitsipas said.

(Quotes have been translated via Google)

However, he added that the tennis world used to seeing these two superstars go deep in tournaments and “let the kids know what they have and what they can do”.

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He said that an odd upset or two like in the Principality isn’t too bad for the game as it gives other players to step up.

“This is how it should be sometimes. Maybe, in fact, always. It’s time forever, not sometimes (laughs),” the Greek said.

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Tsitsipas will play World No.7 Andrey Rublev for the championship on Sunday.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

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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.

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