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"Accept the challenge, stay humble and fight": Nadal in good shape one month away from Roland-Garros

2021-04-27T19:22:16.687Z

The Mallorcan, winner of the Barcelona tournament on Sunday against Stefanos Tsitsipas, advances towards Roland-Garros with a little more confidence.



One month before Roland-Garros (May 24-June 13), Rafael Nadal is still there: the world N.3 ended the series of nine victories of Stefanos Tsitsipas, whom he beat in the final at Barcelona 6- 4, 6-7 (8/6), 7-5, winning for the 12th time on Catalan clay. Nadal, who won the tournament for the first time in 2005, won after a battle lasting more than 3 hours 30 minutes, after saving a match point. Tsitsipas, 5th in the world, had a first Masters 1000 title a week ago at the Monte-Carlo tournament. “It means a lot to me to play the final here and to win. I improved my level throughout the week and this trophy represents a lot ”, reacted the Mallorcan who had to fight in the previous rounds,especially in the quarterfinals against the Japanese Kei Nishikori to whom he had also yielded a set.

"It's an everyday job, accepting the challenge, remaining humble when sometimes you don't play so well and you have to fight and find solutions every day"

Rafael Nadal

Nadal cumulates the records: with 12 victories in Barcelona, ​​he is far ahead of the Romanian Ilie Nastase (4 victories) and a group of three players with 3 titles: the Australian Roy Emerson, the Spaniard Manuel Orantes and the Swedish Mats Wilander . The Spaniard also consolidates his status as record holder for victories on clay with 61 titles against 49 to Argentinian Guillermo Vilas. "It's an everyday job, accepting the challenge, remaining humble when sometimes you don't play so well and you have to fight and find solutions every day", added the Spaniard who will still be a favorite at Roland-Garros (May 30-June 13) which he has already won 13 times and where he will celebrate his 35th birthday.

⚡️ After saving 3 match points, Tsitsipas stuck to one inning everywhere (7-6)!



Follow the #ATPBarcelona final on Eurosport and https://t.co/XcZuM6O9AA#HomeOfTennispic.twitter.com/nFZrA0uooR

- Eurosport France (@Eurosport_FR) April 25, 2021

Faced with Tsitsipas, one of the most fit players of the moment, who won last Sunday on the Monegasque rock against the Russian Andrey Rublev, Nadal alternated the very good and the less good, broken at the start of the set, in the 1st as in the 2nd.

But each time, as a pure landman, never releasing any point, the Mallorcan returned.

It was a revenge for Tsitsipas who had lost in the final in Barcelona, ​​in 2018 already against Nadal, while the Greek was not yet in the Top 100.

Seeming to gain the upper hand in the first set, he saw Nadal return who won the set (6-4) after 59 minutes.

The 2nd set seemed a carbon copy of the 1st but Tsitsipas tightened the game, saved two first match points that Nadal got in this round, to win in the decisive game (8/6) and afford a 3rd round.

At the end of a third act of epic new and 3:38 of match, Nadal, despite his almost 35 years, showed that he was still the strongest on ocher earth.

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Source: lefigaro

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