When Stefanos Tsitsipas wanted to "ban" Rafael Nadal from Roland Garros



by   |  VIEW 30948

When Stefanos Tsitsipas wanted to "ban" Rafael Nadal from Roland Garros

Rafa Nadal has been the most dominant player at a single Major, winning 105 out of 108 Roland Garros encounters and claiming 13 titles from 17 trips to Paris! In October 2020, Rafa claimed the 13th crown in Paris, beating all seven rivals in straight sets and dominating Novak Djokovic in the title clash to secure the 20th Major trophy and write history.

The last year's Roland Garros finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas came with a perfect solution for one of the most challenging tasks in the world of tennis, knowing how to beat Rafa at his beloved Major. Answering Twitter questions, Tsitsipas mentioned Nadal when asked about one thing he would ban, joking with the 20-time Major winner and highlighting his dominance at the clay Major.

Nadal made a debut in Paris in 2005 and won the title a couple of days following the 19th birthday, beating Roger Federer and Mariano Puerta to become the last teenager with a Major trophy. Nadal had stood strong in Paris in the next three years before experiencing the first loss to Robin Soderling in 2009.

The Spaniard restored the order between 2010-2014 to write history books as the most dominant male player at a single Major tournament. In his most challenging years on the Tour, Rafa stayed empty-handed in Paris in 2015 and 2016, losing the second match at his beloved event to Novak Djokovic and withdrawing a year later to hand the trophies to Wawrinka and Djokovic.

Starting all over from 2017, Nadal lost only three sets within four years in Paris, extending his reign and achieving many records that should remain unmatched for good. Heading to Roland Garros with only three matches in his legs since February, Rafa had to dig deep to beat the rivals and conditions in Paris in October 2020, determined to win another title and join Roger Federer on 20 Major crowns.

Stefanos Tsitsipas knew how to end Rafael Nadal's Roland Garros reign.

Dealing with cold and rainy weather, new Wilson balls and a roof above Court Philippe-Chatrier, Nadal toppled all seven opponents in straight sets and played well above them to lift another Roland Garros title, the 13th in Paris!

Settling into an excellent rhythm, Rafa lost only 23 games in the opening four matches to sail into the quarters, crumbling the rivals on serve and return and gaining confidence ahead of more challenging encounters. In the quarter-final, the Spaniard had to give his best against the young Italian Jannik Sinner, trailing in sets one and two before prevailing 7-6, 6-4, 6-1 in just under three hours.

In the semis, Diego Schwartzman kept Nadal on the court for three hours and nine minutes before Rafa scored a 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 victory and advanced to his 13th Roland Garros final. Saving his best tennis for the most formidable opponent, Rafa toppled Novak Djokovic 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 in two hours and 41 minutes, controlling the pace all the time and bringing the victory home for a massive celebration of the 20th Major crown.