“Will Be a Tough One”: Rafael Nadal on Facing Jannik Sinner in His Opening Round Match at Italian Open 2021

Published 05/12/2021, 6:05 AM EDT
Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Madrid Open – Caja Magica, Madrid, Spain – May 7, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his quarter final match against Germany’s Alexander Zverev REUTERS/Sergio Perez


Players have arrived in the Italian capital Rome and are set for the final ATP Masters 1000 clay-court event of the season. Spanish tennis ace Rafael Nadal is up against Italian upcoming star Jannik Sinner in his opening round match and it promises to be a mouth-watering contest, especially at such an early stage of the tournament. 

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While reflecting on the upcoming match, Rafael Nadal had nice words to say about his opponent. He praised Jannik on his recent performance in Miami, where he made it to his first ATP Masters 1000 final. Over the past few months, the Italian player has been on a rise and has climbed up the rankings.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Madrid Open – Caja Magica, Madrid, Spain – May 6, 2021, Spain’s Rafael Nadal celebrates winning his third round match against Australia’s Alexei Popyrin REUTERS/Juan Medina

Taking note of his opponent, Rafa stated, “All the matches are difficult and to talk about a player who is very young and improving every day. He’s in a moment where he is ascending in the ranking, he’s confident and played a great tournament in Miami.”

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Rafael Nadal is excited to face Jannik Sinner in Rome

Nadal is wary about the threat Jannik Sinner can pose and is excited about tackling that. He did mention being able to play at a high level himself in order to get the job done. However, his experience and success in Rome are unchallenged by any other player on Tour.

Tennis – ATP 500 – Barcelona Open – Real Club de Tennis Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain – April 23, 2021, Italy’s Jannik Sinner celebrates winning his quarter-final match against Russia’s Andrey Rublev REUTERS/Albert Gea

The 34-year-old further added, “It will be a tough one and I will need to play well. I know he’s playing well and will be excited about the match. I am too and I’m happy to be in Rome, a place I know very well and I’ve had great tournaments.”

Speaking of tennis recently, Rafael Nadal won his 12th title in Barcelona but suffered setbacks in Monte Carlo and Madrid. On the other hand, Sinner lost to Djokovic in Monte Carlo and made it to the semifinal in Barcelona. It’ll be interesting to see how Rafa and Jannik face off later.

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“Tomorrow I need to play well…I am excited.”

@RafaelNadal

Rafa is ready for Jannik in R2. 😤@janniksin | #IBI21 pic.twitter.com/8hgXsUoRSV

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— TENNIS (@Tennis) May 11, 2021

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Rohan Kollare

702 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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