Toni Nadal congratulated Stefanos Tsitsipas on winning his first title on grass just before Wimbledon and jokingly expressed his hope that the Greek will not beat his nephew Rafael Nadal at the Championships. On Saturday, Tsitsipas beat Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in the Mallorca final 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (2).
Uncle Toni, who now works with Félix Auger-Aliassime, is also the director of the Mallorca tournament. During the on-court trophy presentation, Uncle Toni congratulated Tsitsipas in a somewhat humorous way, as he asked him not to beat Nadal, but to try to beat Novak Djokovic if he had the chance.
“Congratulations Stefanos, you play very well on this surface. I’m sure you’re one of the favorites for Wimbledon. I hope you don’t beat Rafael [Nadal] or Félix [Auger-Aliassime]. But try to beat Djokovic,” he told him.
Uncle Toni to Tsitsipas with a smile. In Mallorca, Tsitsipas showed that he can play well on grass and win matches. “It seems like I’m playing longer matches on grass than on clay,” Tsitsipas joked in his on-court interview.
“It’s been an incredible fight and an incredible battle. I know it can be difficult for a person to deal with loss, but I think for tennis it’s great that we are able to play at this high level and show our sport [on the edge].”
Now, Tsitsipas has set his sights on making his first strong appearance at the All England Club. Tsitsipas, who suffered first-round defeats in his last two Wimbledon campaigns, underlined that he does not lack confidence to come to Wimbledon.
Nadal reflects on Iga Swiatek
Rafael Nadal had some words to say about WTA No. 1 Iga Swiatek. “I’ve messaged [Iga Swiatek] a couple of times because what she’s playing is crazy. The way she’s able to keep her focus and winning spirit for so long is unbelievable,” Nadal said.
“It’s hard to make everything that she’s making come true.” Hailing Swiatek as a “breath of fresh air,” the former World No. 1 remarked that he was very happy to see her succeed in such remarkable fashion.
“When she plays well, it’s very difficult to stop her because her shots are a little different. They have a lot of power and she is able to move very well. When she is with confidence it’s going to be very hard to stop her,” Nadal said.
“I quite like her, she has a very positive attitude and is a breath of fresh air in the world of tennis. I’m quite happy that a girl like her is so successful.”