Tomas Martin Etcheverry seeking luck from Rafael Nadal's poster prior to his quarterfinal against Alexander Zverev at the 2023 French Open has sparked delight among tennis fans.
Etcheverry advanced to his maiden quarterfinal at a Grand Slam with a 7-6(8), 6-0, 6-1 win over Yoshihito Nishioka. The World No. 49 was aiming to become the lowest-ranked and first unseeded player since Marco Cecchinato in 2018 (ranked World No. 72) to make it to the semifinals in Paris. However, his hopes were dashed by Alexander Zverev who secured a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win to reach his third consecutive Roland Garros semifinal.
The official Roland Garros social media handle shared a clip of Etcheverry's pre-match warm-up which showed the Argentine touching a poster of Rafael Nadal with his 2022 French Open trophy, seemingly seeking luck prior to his match.
It is no surprise to see Etcheverry seeking inspiration from the Spaniard, who is affectionately known as the "King of Clay" and ranks as the most successful player in the history of the French Open, with 14 titles to his name.
A fan reshared the clip and reacted to the "cute" moment.
"This is so cute, Etcheverry touching Nadal's picture for good luck," the fan tweeted.
Another fan expressed awe at an entire generation of tennis players being inspired by the 22-time Grand Slam champion and hoped for his return in 2024.
"And then you realize that a whole generation of tennis players grew up watching Nadal and he's (hopefully for the next year at least) still around," the fan commented.
"They all want what Rafa has," a user tweeted.
Here are a few more fan reactions:
Alexander Zverev returns to French Open SF, one year after suffering ankle injury against Rafael Nadal
With his win over Tomas Martin Etcheverry, Alexander Zverev advanced to his third consecutive French Open semifinal. His achievement is even more significant, given that his campaign in 2022 was derailed abruptly when a horrifying ankle injury forced him to retire mid-match during his semifinal against Rafael Nadal.
The German had to be taken off the court in a wheelchair and was sidelined from the tour for the remainder of the season. He made his return at the 2023 Australian Open and has since been working his way back to his previous level.
Zverev will take on Casper Ruud in the semifinal on Friday, June 9 for a chance to reach his second Grand Slam final and his first at Roland Garros. On the other side of the draw, Carlos Alcaraz will be up against Novak Djokovic in a blockbuster clash.