Rafael Nadal secured his 12th title in Barcelona, after he defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas in a three-set epic in the finals. The Spaniard ended the Greek’s nine match winning streak on clay courts, and lifted the first title of the season.
Rafael Nadal started the match on the front foot, taking the first set. However, Tsitsipas came storming back into the match, claiming the second set in a tiebreaker. The Spaniard claimed the last set by a score-line of 7-5, to claim the title in Barcelona.
In his victory speech, Rafael Nadal stated he loves to compete and win matches. However, that does not mean that he hates losing. “I don’t hate losing. I just like to win and compete. I like making an effort to achieve goals and if I lose, at least I tried. That’s the essency of sports,” said Nadal.
Rafael Nadal confirms participation at Madrid Open
Rafael Nadal also confirmed his presence at the Madrid Open that will commence in a week’s time. The Mutua Madrid Open is the second of the three ATP 1000 tournaments that are held prior to the French Open.
“I am excited about that. Hopefully there will be some great crowd supporting me,” said Nadal. The Spaniard has won the title in Madrid five times so far, with the last one coming in 2017.
Rafael Nadal also stated that playing at the highest level of tennis was unthinkable, a few years ago. The Spaniard has suffered several injuries in his career, but has always come back stronger. The 34-year old revealed that he had never lost the passion for the sport and that is what keeps him motivated.
“I went through some tough times in my career because of injuries. To play here at 35 years of age was unthinkable until 10-15 years ago. I never lost the passion for the sport,” Nadal added.