Rafael Nadal is eager to work hard during the off-season and get ready to a strong start to the 2021 season - UBITENNIS
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Rafael Nadal is eager to work hard during the off-season and get ready to a strong start to the 2021 season

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Rafael Nadal claimed his 13th Roland Garros title and his 20th Grand Slam trophy tying Rpger Federer’s record for most Grand Slam titles. For the 12th time in his career Nadal finished the year in the top-2. 

 

Nadal took part in just two tournaments this year due to the covid-19 pandemic winning two titles in Acapulco and at the French Open. 

Nadal started the 2020 seaosn at the ATP Cup, where he lost to Novak Djokovic in the final. The Mallorcan player reached the quarter final at the Australian Open for the 12th time in his career, before losing to Dominic Thiem in four sets 6-7 (3-7) 6-7 (4-7). 

Nadal won his first title of the year in Acapulco after beating all his five rivals (Pablo Andujar, Miomir Kecmanovic, Soonwoo Kwon, Grigor Dimitrov and Taylor Fritz) in straight sets. During the lockdown he spent six and a half months in Mallorca. 

After skipping the Western and Southern Open tournaments Nadal made his come-back at the Rome Masters 1000 tournament, where he lost to Diego Schwartzman in the quarter finals. Nadal travelled to Paris Roland Garros with three matches since March. 

Nadal did not drop a set en route to his 13th Roland Garros title for the fourth time after 2008, 2010 and 2017. His win over world number 1 Novak Djokovic in Roland Garros final marked the 999th win of his career and his 100th win at this tournament. 

“I played a very good final when I needed to play at my highest level, so something I am very proud of. I would love to finish my career being the player with more Grand Slams. I am a big fan of the history of sport. I respect that a lot. It means a lot to share this number with Roger”, said Nadal. 

The Spanish legend returned to Paris to take part at the Paris Bercy Masters 1000 tournament, where he lost to Alexander Zverev in straight sets in the semifinal. 

Nadal reached his first semifinal at the ATP Finals since 2015. After a straight set win over Andrey Rublev, Nadal lost to Dominic Thiem after two tie-breaks in the best match of this year’s edition of the ATP FInals. Nadal edged Stefanos Tsitsipas in three sets in the deciding round-robin match to advance the semifinal. Nadal lost to Danil Medvedev 3-6 7-6 6-3 in the semifinal. Medvedev pulled the break back the second set, before winning four consecutive games in the third set to beat Nadal for the first time in his career. 

“At the second set I was playing a little bit better than him. Then at 5-4 I think he played a good game and I didn’t. I played a bad game. That’s it, but I had a big opportunity and I lost it”. 

Nadal is eager to start his preparation for the 2021 season. 

“My goals remain the same. They are not easier or harder. I want to give 100% and every tournament and have a chance to fight for the title. My goals have always been the same. They are not easier or harder. I want to give 100% and every tournament and have a chance to fight for the title. My motivation has always been the same, year after year. The 2021 season will be very important, and I want to be ready for things I want to fight for. I will work hard during the off-season and get ready for a strong start”, said Nadal. 

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Alexander Zverev and Matteo Berrettini reach the quarter finals in Madrid

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Alexander Zverev beats Dan Evans 6-3 7-6 (7-3) to reach the quarter final at the Madrid Mutua Open. Matteo Berrettini moved into the quarter final with straight-set win over Federico Delbonis

 

Evans earned an early break to take a 1-0 lead. Zverev broke twice in the second and fourth games to open up a 4-1 lead and closed out the first set 6-3 with an ace. 

Evans saved the only break point of the second set at 4-4. Both players went on serve en route to the tie-break. Zverev got three mini-breaks to win the breaker 7-3. 

Matteo Berrettini has reached the third Masters 1000 quarter final of his career with a 7-6 (7-4) 6-4. 

The first set went on serve until the eighth game, when Delbonis saved the only break point. Delbonis went up a 4-1 lead, but Berrettini fought back by winning six consecutive games to take the first set 7-4. 

Berrettini went up an early break to take a 2-0 lead, but Delbonis broke straight back to draw level to 2-2, when Berrettini made two forehand unforced errors. The next games went on serve until the 10th game, when Berrettini earned the break to win the second set 6-4. 

Berrettini will face a quarter final against Christian Garin, who upset Danil Medvedev. Berrettini ties 1-1 in his two head-to-head matches against Garin. Garin beat Berrettini in the 2019 BMW Open final in Munich. Berrettini avenged this defeat against his South American player in Shanghai later that year. 

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Casper Ruud stuns Stefanos Tsitsipas to take the biggest win of his career

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Casper Ruud scored his first win over a top five player, beating this year’s Monte-Carlo champion and Barcelona finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 after 1 hour and 34 minutes without facing a break point. 

 

The Norwegian player has reached his third consecutive clay-court Masters 1000 quarter final following the semifinals in Rome in 2020 and in Monte-Carlo last month. 

The first set went on serve with no break points. Ruud won the tie-break 7-4 with two mini-breaks before earning the only break in the seventh game to close out the second set 6-4. 

Tsitsipas won his first Masters 1000 title in Monte-Carlo and lost the Barcelona final after holding a championship point against Rafael Nadal. 

“Stefanos is one of the best players this year on the Tour, one of the ones who has the most matches. He has won his first Masters 1000 in Monte-Carlo. He was very close to getting the title there, as well, but the conditiions are a bit different here than other clay courts with there, as well, but the conditions are a bit different here than other clay courts with the fast shots, the ball travelling faster through the air because of the altitude. You get a lot of free points with the serve that you don’t usually get on the clay courts. I think that also today went a bit in my advantage. I felt like he was doing some mistakes that he doesn’t always do. I was just trying t take care of the chance that I got”, said Ruud.Ruud set up a quarter final against Alexander Bublik, who beat Aslan Karatsev 6-4 6-3. Ruud beat Bublik in their only previous head-to-head match against Bublik in three sets in St. Petersburg.

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Ash Barty Eases Into Madrid Final

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Number 1 seed Ashleigh Barty beat Paula Badosa 6-4 6-3 to reach her fourth final of the 2021 season at the Madrid Mutua Open after winning three titles at the Yarra Valley Classic, Miami and Stuttgart.

 

The first set went on serve in the first nine games. Barty earned two break points in the 10th game with a lob and loose forehands from Badosa. Badosa saved two set points with winners, but Barty converted her third chance after a double fault from Badosa to close out the first set 6-4. 

After an early trade of breaks, Barty earned her second break after a double fault from Badosa in the fourth game to open up a 3-1 lead. The Aussie star saved three break points in the fifth game and held serve for 4-1 with a dropshot. Barty dropped just two more points on serve to close out the second set 6-3. 

Barty has extended her red clay winning streak to 16 consecutive matches and her win-loss record to 25-3 this season. 

Barty has clinched her 16th consecutive win on red clay. The Australian player avenged her recent defeat against Badosa in the quarter finals in Charleston. 

“It was important for me to get that early break back in the second set and keep my nose in front, almost force her to come up with something that was going to be a really high level to be at a high level to be able to get back into the match. I have learnt a lot about clay, without a doubt. I promise you, I am still counting down to the grass court season. It’s one of the my favourite times of the year. I think the memories and the learnings now that we are getting from the red clay has been really cool, to be able to challenge myself in different ways”, said Barty.

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