Rafael Nadal: 'Novak Djokovic's completely right but...'

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Rafael Nadal: 'Novak Djokovic's completely right but...'

One of the main qualities of a champion, especially when we talk about athletes who are legends of a particular sport, is being able to accept defeat in a match despite everything. This represents a trademark of the champion and certainly concerns the world number two Rafael Nadal, who unexpectedly came out in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open 2021, against the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The defeat is even more bitter if we think that Rafa was in control of the match, he had won the first two sets in fluency and gradually the talented young Greek made a fantastic comeback in one of the most important races of his career.

One of the peculiarities that everyone appreciates in the Majorcan champion is that he knows how to accept defeat more than anything else. Instead of thinking about complaining, Rafa is ready immediately and is already working in view of the next commitments.

Rafael Nadal insists the tennis season must continue and called for the sport to “find solutions” to the issues surrounding quarantining. Many European countries now have significant restrictions on travel and Novak Djokovic, who set up a separate player body to the ATP last year, called for urgent discussions.

Rafael Nadal replies to Novak Djokovic

But speaking after his five-set defeat to Stefanos Tsitsipas, Rafael Nadal said: “Novak Djokovic’s completely right that for our sport things are difficult because governments are changing the rules constantly.

“So it’s difficult to make predictions about how the things are going to happen. But there is a very clear thing. There are two options. Stop the Tour or keep going. My personal feeling is it’s tough for the players, of course, to have to do bubbles in every single event, flying just plus two, a lot of players have family and they cannot have the family with them, so that makes our Tour probably tougher than ever, no? But on the other hand, if we stop the Tour, why and how and when will we be able to come back? And a lot of jobs are going to suffer a lot.

I mean, not only players. A lot of people are living from our sport, no? If we stop our sport again, a lot of people are going to suffer." Meanwhile, the LTA is “cautiously optimistic” fans will be able to attend its summer tournaments this year after the schedule was announced.

The grass-court season was cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, meaning Wimbledon was not staged for the first time since the Second World War. But the tournament will return this summer along with traditional warm-up events at Queen’s, Birmingham, Eastbourne and Nottingham over a six-week period in June and July.