In an interview to Le Matin, Rafael Nadal explained his defeat against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semifinals of the Madrid Open, “I did some things very correctly, most of all on the mental plan, and others less well.
I warmed up at 5 pm when it was hot. In the cold of the evening, I didn’t manage to find the good sensations back. The conditions had completely changed. [...] I have the impression that the outcome of the match depended on me.
If I had played like in Australia or in Barcelona, I think I would have won. I feel that my drive did not make enough damage. He played heavily, aggressively. But my average ball was not enough”. Regarding the several pauses that the Greek tried to impose during the match, options refused by the referee, the Spaniard denied a plausible irritation coming from him, “The referee is there for that.
But it’s true that I wouldn’t like to face him without a referee… [silence] I’m joking. It’s a bit hard to understand that when the ball clearly sweeps the line, that half of the mark is on the line, he still wants the referee to check.
I don’t quite understand it. But really, there’s no problem”. Stefanos Tsitsipas, who ascends to the 7th place in the ATP ranking following his finalist position in the Spanish Master 1000, has been involved in other referee-relative controversies, notably during 2019, Miami Open doubles final against Roger Federer.