‘I would love to beat Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros this year,’ says Stefanos Tsitsipas

Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas hugging

It is one of the most difficult feats to achieve in tennis, but Stefanos Tsitsipas has set his sights on beating Rafael Nadal on his “home turf” at Roland Garros.

King of Clay Nadal has played 102 matches at the French Open and he lost only two with his last on-court defeat a quarter-final loss in 2015.

The Spaniard will be looking to win a record-extending 14th Coupe des Mousquetaires this year.

Tsitsipas, by contrast, has a 9-4 win-loss record at Roland Garros with his best performance a semi-final exit in 2020 while his head-to-head against Nadal is 1-6 with his only win on clay at the 2019 Madrid Open.

The Greek, though, is not discouraged by his poor record against the 20-time Grand Slam as he hopes to beat the world No 2 in Paris this year.

“A really good goal would be maybe to beat Rafa on clay, or at Roland-Garros, that would be a really nice goal,” he told rolandgarros.com.

“I think everyone would love that, especially me. He’s such a difficult player to play against, very difficult, very consistent, incredible fighting spirit. I consider myself a fighter but he’s completely next level, incomparable. That would be a realistic, I hope, goal, not too much to ask.”

He added: “They don’t call Rafa the most difficult player to beat accidentally, there is something behind it.

“For me personally, he has a very heavy ball and he is just anticipating very well, very good movement on the court as well. He spins, his agility on the court is very impressive and the way he fights, he’s just never going to give up, that makes him very very difficult.”

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