French Open: Nadal not worried about being in same half of draw as Djokovic and Federer

By Sports Desk May 28, 2021

Rafael Nadal is not worried about being in the same half of the draw as fellow legends Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic at the French Open.

World number one Djokovic and Federer, eighth in the rankings, could meet at the quarter-final stage at Roland Garros, with a potential showdown with Nadal to come in the last four.

Defending champion Nadal says he is not looking beyond a first-round encounter with Alexei Popyrin in Paris, where he could move ahead of Federer by claiming a record 21st grand slam title.

The Spaniard said on Friday: "I see it as natural. One player is almost 40 [Federer], another is almost 35 [Nadal] and the other is 34 [Djokovic]. It seems logical that younger players climb in the rankings.

"Whenever that happens you have these consequences [with the seedings]. I see it as completely normal. I'm not worried about it. I have a lot of work in front of me to play a potential match versus Djokovic [in the semi-final].

"They would need to play each other and I have my own path. My path right now is Popyrin [in the first round] and that's where my mind is. My draw is hard enough to be thinking about anything else. I must continue my preparation, focus on my routines and keep advancing in the way we want."

Nadal on Thursday saw a statue of himself unveiled at Roland Garros, where has won 13 French Open titles and has a staggering record of 100 victories and two defeats.

He has won the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome and the Barcelona Open on clay this season but is braced for a tough start against 21-year-old Australian Popyrin.

Nadal said: "He's young, he has the power. He has big shots. As always, I need to be ready for it. I need to keep practising [during] the next couple of days and try to be in the best shape possible.

"I know every round is tough, I always respect every opponent. I respected everyone since the beginning of my career. And Popyrin is a dangerous one, so I need to play well and I'm looking forward to trying to make that happen.

Related items

  • Murray finally overcomes Hurkacz to advance in Vienna Murray finally overcomes Hurkacz to advance in Vienna

    Andy Murray beat Hubert Hurkacz at the third attempt this year to advance to the second round of the Vienna Open.

    Having lost to world number 10 Hurkacz in both Cincinnati and Metz, Murray claimed a hard-fought victory that took two hours and 40 minutes over three sets.

    Hurkacz has enjoyed a brilliant 2021, winning three singles titles, but despite forcing a decider, went down 4-6 7-6 (8-6) 3-6 on Monday in a defeat that dealt a blow to his ATP Finals hopes.

    "My movement has been getting a little better with each match," Murray said. "It was a good match that could have gone either way. It was a good win in tough circumstances."

    "A lot of my movement is about anticipation and when you're not playing many matches – like I haven't been in recent years – you don't read the play quite as well.

    "Now I'm starting to see the ball a little earlier and starting to react a little quicker, which means I will start to chase more balls down."

    The Scot has been drawn against Carlos Alcaraz, who beat the 34-year-old's fellow Briton Dan Evans in straight sets. Murray defeated the Spanish teenager in a thrilling tussle at Indian Wells earlier this month.

    Third seed and 2021 Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini also made it through, beating Alexei Popyrin 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 to avoid an upset after a keenly contested first set.

    Meanwhile, seventh seed Alexander Bublik claimed a comfortable 6-3 6-4 win over Evgeny Tyurnev at the St. Petersburg Open.

    Sebastian Korda and Jan-Lennard Struff also progressed in Russia.

  • Teichmann suffers early exit in Cluj Teichmann suffers early exit in Cluj

    Jil Teichmann suffered a shock exit in the first round of the Transylvania Open as Anastasia Gasanova came from behind to win 4-6 6-0 7-5.

    The competition's fourth seed and world number 39 started off well against Russian Gasanova, who is only ranked 146th by the WTA, but was crushed in the second set and was unable to recover in the decider.

    It is a disappointing result for the Swiss, who made it to the final of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati in August, losing to world number one Ashleigh Barty.

    Ana Bogdan won 7-6 6-4 on home turf against Ivana Jorovic and will likely play US Open champion Emma Raducanu in the round of 16 if the third seed can beat Polona Hercog on Tuesday.

    Raducanu is still without a coach after parting with Andrew Richardson, and she faced the media on Monday, saying: "I am going to find my tennis, I just need a little bit of time.

    "I don't think there is any pressure on me. I feel like everyone should just be a little patient with me."

    Bogdan will also expect compatriot and top seed Simona Halep, with the two-time grand slam champion facing another Romanian in Elena Gabriela-Ruse on Wednesday, to join her in the next round.

    Meanwhile, fifth seed Clara Tauson enjoyed a comfortable 6-2 6-2 win over Stefanie Voegele in the Courmayeur Open in Italy.

    Sixth seed Alison Riske and 10th seed Dayana Yastremska both won in straight sets to ensure there were no upsets in today's games, beating Ankita Raina and Vitalia Diatchenko respectively.

  • ​Sinner 'very proud' of dominant European Open win in Antwerp ​Sinner 'very proud' of dominant European Open win in Antwerp

    Jannik Sinner said he was "very proud" of the level he played at as he stormed to a straight-sets victory against Diego Schwartzman in the final of the ATP European Open on Sunday.

    The number one seed continued his impressive form in the tournament by sweeping aside his opponent 6-2 6-2 in just 76 minutes.

    Sinner was too powerful for his Argentine opponent and showed just why he is considered to be one of the rising stars of tennis with some breathtaking winners from all over the court in Antwerp, Belgium.

    "I felt great on court. I moved well. I also served better, I think," the 20-year old said. "I felt great, but in tennis every day is different. You have to be careful. I think I played well the whole tournament, to be honest, from the first point to the last point.

    "I like to play indoors. I tried to push the ball [through the court], which for me was important against Diego because he is moving very well. He's not missing so many shots. For me it was important trying to adapt the game somehow against him.

    "I think I can be very proud about the level I played."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.