World no. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas has some high goals ahead of 2021, feeling motivated before the new season. Among other things, the young Greek would love to beat Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros, or on clay in general, doing that in the past and hoping for more this spring.
Stefanos was the Roland Garros semi-finalist last October, competing on a high level before the semi-final and saving a match point in the third set against Novak Djokovic to push the world's leading player to the limits.
In the end, Djokovic prevailed in five sets and almost four hours, losing a lot of energy and not having much left in the tank ahead of the title clash vs. Nadal. Tsitsipas and Nadal played three matches on clay in 2018 and 2019, with the Spaniard scoring a dominant 6-2, 6-1 triumph in Barcelona in April 2018.
A year later, the youngster toppled the clay king in the Madrid semi-final 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 for his most notable victory on the slowest surface.
Stefanos Tsitsipas wants to beat Rafael Nadal on clay.
Nadal took revenge in Rome, beating the Greek in straight sets en route to the trophy.
Nadal is the most dominant player in history at a single Major, winning 100 out of 102 Roland Garros encounters and lifting 13 titles from 16 trips to Paris. Last year, Rafa stormed over the rest of the field at 34 and conquered the event without losing a set, standing strong on both serve and return to leave all the rivals behind him.
In the title match, Nadal toppled Djokovic 6-0, 6-2, 7-5, dominating in sets one and two and bringing the clash home in the third's closing stages to secure the 20th Major crown. "An excellent goal would be to beat Rafa Nadal at Roland Garros, or on clay in general; that would be a nice goal.
I think everyone would love that, especially me. He's such a difficult player to play against, very challenging and consistent, with incredible fighting spirit. I consider myself a fighter, but he's completely next level, incomparable. That would be a realistic goal and, I hope, not too much to ask," Stefanos Tsitsipas said.