Rafael Nadal secured the first title of his season on Sunday, as he defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas in the finals of the Barcelona Open 2021. The duo battled for 3 hours and 38 minutes, and played out a three set thriller. However, the Spaniard held his nerve when it mattered, and claimed his 12th title in Barcelona.
Rafael Nadal has an aggressive style of play, which is the reason for his recurrent injuries. However, the Spaniard has always battled past his injuries, and emerged even stronger. Recently, the 20-time Grandslam champion was nursing a back injury at the Australian Open 2021, and he took some time off, to completely recover.
In his victory speech at Barcelona Open 2021, Rafael Nadal stated that he was proud about fighting for the biggest titles on a consistent basis. “For many years I heard that I would have a short career because of my gamestyle. And instead I am still here, fighting for the biggest titles, enjoying tennis. I feel proud about that,” said Nadal.
Rafael Nadal to compete at Madrid Open 2021
Rafael Nadal will next compete at the Madrid Open, which will be held next week. The tournament in Madrid is part of the three 1000 events that are held prior to the French Open 2021. The Spaniard has won the Madrid Masters title on five occasions, with the last one coming in 2017.
Nadal defeated Dominic Thiem in the finals of Madrid Open in 2017 in a straight sets victory. The tournament was cancelled last year, owing to the covid-19 pandemic. The defending champion is Novak Djokovic, who lifted the title in 2019, defeating Stefanos Tsistipas in straight sets.
Rafael Nadal will enter the tournament as the certain favorite, after his incredible performance in Barcelona. The world number two bounced back from his quarterfinal defeat at the Monte Carlo Masters, which was his first tournament since the Australian Open 2021.