Stefanos Tsitsipas Nadal

Stefanos Tsitsipas: ‘Rafa Nadal is someone I really respect and have always dreamed of beating’

Stefanos Tsitsipas said he has always dreamed of beating Rafael Nadal ahead of facing the Spaniard in the Barcelona Open final tomorrow.

The 22-year-old Greek has beaten the 20-time Grand Slam winner twice in eight previous meetings – including their most recent clash at the Australian Open in February. The world No. 5 also beat Nadal on clay in the semi-finals of the Madrid Masters in 2019.

“It was very close. It was a close match. He had a lot of break point opportunities on my serve,” said Tsitsipas in an interview after beating Jannik Sinner in the Barcelona semi-finals.

“It could have been different, but I stayed tough and I converted those break points [I had]. That was crucial and very important.

“It feels great to be back [in the final]. I will try to redeem myself from last time. [Rafa] is someone that I really respect and have always dreamed of beating.

“The fact that I was able to do it this year pushes me to push myself. I feel like I need experiences like this to grow as a player. A final is always a very important phase in a tournament.”

(Photo credit Ray Giubilo)

Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.