WATCH: Rafael Nadal Refuses To Give Autographs to Fans After Third Round Victory at French Open 2021

Published 06/05/2021, 1:36 PM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 5, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his third round match against Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie REUTERS/Benoit Tessier


World No.3 Rafael Nadal produced another domineering performance to cruise into the last-16 of the 2021 French Open. Nadal defeated British player, Cameron Norrie, in straight sets (6-3, 6-3, 6-3) in the third round at his beloved Grand Slam.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The thirteen-time champion won a whopping 79% of the points on his first serve and pounded 35 winners en route to the victory. The clay-court maestro extended his win-loss record at the French Open to 103 wins against just two losses.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 5, 2021, Spain’s Rafael Nadal celebrates winning his third round match against Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Rafael Nadal turns down a fan

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Post the victory, Nadal, being the gentleman he is, clicked pictures with his fans in the stadium. However, a sweet incident happened when an ardent fan requested Nadal for his autograph.

Owning the social distancing protocols because of the coronavirus pandemic, Nadal humbly apologized to his fan and said “I cannot sign, I’m very sorry”.

Yet again, the Spaniard showcased his courteous nature and expressed regret for his inability to sign an autograph considering the tournament’s COVID-19 rules.

Just two days back, Nadal celebrated his 35th birthday with a victory over his friend and long-term rival, Richard Gasquet. However, Nadal’s actual birthday present would be to claim a record 14th French Open trophy, a feat from which he stands just four match wins away.

Up next, Nadal would face teenager Jannik Sinner in the fourth round for a place in the quarterfinals. Notably, this would be the second year in a row both players would face off against each other at the French Open.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 3, 2021, Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his second round match against France’s Richard Gasquet REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Last year, Nadal met Sinner in the quarterfinals and pulverized him in straight sets. However, over the last few months, Sinner has delivered some incredible results and could prove to be a challenge for the 20-time Grand Slam champion.

Interestingly, after booking his place in the fourth round, Nadal reached another milestone of advancing to his 50th Round-of-16 appearance in a Grand Slam. He stands behind his arch-rivals Novak Djokovic (54 times) and Roger Federer (67 times) in the list of most Grand Slam Round-of-16 appearances.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

“Like Watching Your Favorite Movie”: Victoria Azarenka Expresses Admiration for Rafael Nadal Before 4th Round Contest at French Open 2021

8 days ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Kshitij Tayal

389 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT