Stefanos Tsitsipas has played one of the toughest matches of his career against Rafael Nadal at the Barcelona Open 2021. The championship match concluded 3-hour and 38-minute on Pista Rafa Nadal court.
Greek chanced to claim his second consecutive title on red dirt when he earned a match point at the 5-4 in the decider, but the Spaniard bounced back to equal the score on the board and subsequently confirmed(6-4, 6-7, 7-5) his 12th crown on the coast of northeastern Spain.
“He’s a real competitor on the court. He hates to lose. He hates to lose more than anyone else. I haven’t seen anyone fight like this. He makes my life really difficult on the court,” Tsitsipas said of Rafael Nadal in the post-match interview.
“I’m there to accept those terms and play based on his desire to fight. It also makes me a better player, and I can see myself reaching my limits. It’s definitely something good to have for my personal development and growth.”
“He always gets an extra ball back. You never know for certain that the rally will be over. There is always one more ball coming back, and there were a few (key)shots that I missed.”
“I Was Literally Two Centimetres From Winning That Match”, says Stefanos Tsitsipas
Tsitsipas was nearly close to defeating Rafael Nadal in Barcelona. He, unfortunately, missed an opportunity to become a champion after giving up a match point in the decider. Greek emphasised that he was a little bit unlucky but delighted because he fought neck-to-neck with a legend.
Stefanos Tsitsipas continued, “I was able to stay patient and wait for my turn. That (5-4) game (when) I had the match point, I felt like I had it for some reason. It was the sensation that I could get that one.”
“I think I made the right choice (and) I went to the right place… it was the right decision and [I] just got a bit unlucky.”
“That’s great news. It’s great stuff. I was looking for a win today. I felt like I was close, and I felt like there were opportunities that I had, and for some reason, I didn’t take (them).”
“I felt I could have pulled off better tennis today, but I’m happy that I brought him so close. I was a match point up… that ball on the match point. I was literally two centimetres from winning that match.”
“That the match is never over. It’s never over until the very last point. That’s what I learned today. “It’s very close, but you sometimes have to do something extra.”