The quarter-finals of the 2021 Australian Open saw the elimination of world number two Rafael Nadal, one of the favorites for the final victory of the tournament, eliminated by the young Greek talent Stefanos Tsitsipas. More than the defeat itself caused a sensation the way it arrived as the Iberian player had dominated the first two sets and found himself losing unexpectedly, thus losing the chance to overtake Roger Federer in the race to fight against Grand Slam tournaments.
Feliciano Lopez recently spoke about his compatriot Rafael Nadal, showering rich praise on the 34-year-old. But Lopez wasn't as kind towards Nick Kyrgios, as he criticized the Australian's 'unjustifiable' behavior.
Lopez on his compatriot Rafael Nadal
While speaking with Radio Marca, Feliciano Lopez opined that Nick Kyrgios gets a lot more attention from the media than he deserves. The Spaniard also believes, however, that Kyrgios is an exceptional tennis player when his mind is in the right place.
“Kyrgios is talked about too much in the media when many times he has unjustifiable behavior," Lopez said. "But when he is well and focused he makes (some) spectacular tennis." Lopez does have faith, however, that Rafael Nadal will participate in the event if it takes place.
The 39-year-old also highlighted how Nadal is exceptionally well-regarded in Madrid. "It would be great news to celebrate the Madrid Open with people, it is what we want, but the situation is what it is," Lopez said.
"If there is a tournament I trust that Rafael Nadal will be with us, he shows that he feels identified and people acclaim him." Like most Madrid fans, Lopez hopes that Mbappe and Haaland will ply their trade in Madrid some day.
"It was a long time since as a football fan, I had not enjoyed so much with two players like Haaland and Mbappe," Lopez said. "I hope I can see them both in Madrid." Rafael Nadal's campaign at the 2021 Australian Open ended with a shock quarterfinal defeat at the hands of Stefanos Tsitsipas.
The Spaniard will next play at the Rotterdam Open in March, followed by the Miami Masters, the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters, the Barcelona Open and the Madrid Masters in the spring. Since his provisional schedule has already been announced, it is no surprise that pictures of Rafael Nadal's outfits for the American hardcourt and European claycourt swing have started doing the rounds of social media.
At Miami, Nadal will be wearing the same Nike Court Aeroreact line he wore at Roland Garros last year and the Australian Open this year, albeit with a different color scheme.