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"A really good goal would be to beat Rafael Nadal on clay or at Roland Garros" - Stefanos Tsitsipas

Stefanos Tsitsipas and Rafael Nadal
Stefanos Tsitsipas and Rafael Nadal
FEATURED COLUMNIST
Modified 27 Jan 2021
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Stefanos Tsitsipas has earmarked beating Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros as one of his goals for the upcoming 2021 season.

Tsitsipas has a 1-6 record against Nadal; his only win over the 20-time Major champion came at the Madrid Masters in 2019. Moreover, Rafael Nadal's record at Roland Garros is unparalleled.

The Spaniard has won the French Open on a staggering 13 occasions, and has an astounding 100-2 record at the tournament. The only two players to have beaten at Roland Garros are Robin Soderling and Novak Djokovic.

But in a recent interview with the Roland Garros website, Stefanos Tsitsipas expressed hope of beating the 'incomparable' Nadal in Paris.

"A really good goal would be maybe to beat Rafa [Nadal] on clay, or at Roland Garros, that would be a really nice goal," Tsitsipas said. "He’s such a difficult player to play against, very difficult, very consistent, incredible fighting spirit. I consider myself a fighter but he’s completely next level, incomparable. That would be a realistic, I hope, goal, not too much to ask."

Tsitsipas also gave an insight into what makes the Spanish legend so difficult to beat. The Greek pointed out that Nadal's heavy topspin is a significant weapon, which combined with his anticipation, agility and fight make him a truly formidable opponent.

"They don’t call Rafael Nadal the most difficult player to beat accidentally, there is something behind it," Tsitsipas stated. "For me personally, he has a very heavy ball and he is just anticipating very well, very good movement on the court as well. He spins, his agility on the court is very impressive and the way he fights, he’s just never going to give up, that makes him very very difficult."

Music, vlogging, photography, building a company - Stefanos Tsitsipas on his goals outside of tennis

Stefanos Tsitsipas
Stefanos Tsitsipas

Stefanos Tsitsipas, who won the ATP Finals in 2019, will be hoping to reach his first Grand Slam singles final in 2021. The Greek has reached a Slam semifinal twice in his career so far, most recently at the 2020 French Open - where he was beaten by World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in a close five-setter.

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But while most players on the tour are solely focused on their tennis careers, Stefanos Tsitsipas has a wide variety of interests outside the sport. And the Greek hopes to exert his influence beyond the court in the coming years as well.

"I want to expand, I want to do greater things, not just in the field of tennis, but also outside of it," Tsitsipas said. "And through music, through vlogging, through photography, through building a company, stuff like that… it allows for connecting people, it allows for ideas to be shared."
"I see it as something so positive, so bright for humanity, for human beings, to just be able to create a space or a place that will allow for humanitarian development as well," he added.
Published 27 Jan 2021, 18:09 IST
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