'Not arrogant': Rafa Nadal hits back at French Open reporter's question

·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
Rafa Nadal (pictured) answering questions in his post-match press conference at Roland Garros.
Rafa Nadal (pictured) said his focus wasn't to wipe players off the court quickly at Roland Garros, but only to be focused on winning the match. (Image: Roland Garros)

Rafa Nadal has dismissed a question at his French Open press conference, after his incredible run at Roland Garros continues.

Nadal extended his run to 35 straight sets on clay after defeating promising youngster Jannick Sinner in straight sets 7-5, 6-3, 6-0 to book a place in the French Open quarter-finals.

WOW: Incredible 53-year first in never-before-seen French Open chaos

SAD TWIST: Naomi Osaka withdraws from pre-Wimbledon event

While Nadal did become frustrated during the match due to an apparent light issue affecting his rhythm, he was able to get off court in limited time to save his 35-year-old legs from any further fatigue.

But when the 13-time Roland Garros champion was asked whether he looks to finish matches in Paris as quickly as possible, Nadal hit back.

"I'm focused on trying to win, rather than win quickly; I am not that arrogant. I have full respect for every opponent," Nadal said at the press conference.

Nadal then went back to his ethos on the tennis court, which has made him one of the greatest competitors in the history of the game.

"I do what I can in every moment," he said.

Rafael Nadal fist pumps in his mens singles fourth round match against Jannik Sinner.
Rafael Nadal reacts in their mens singles fourth round match against Jannik Sinner of Italy during day nine of the 2021 French Open at Roland Garros on June 07, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

"Of course, if I can win quicker, it's better. But today I had a player who's having a great season. 

"I went on court knowing it could be a tough match. I am happy to win in straight sets. I did what I had to do."

Nadal then saved special praise for the teenager Sinner, who had him playing some outstanding tennis to advance.

"He is young, he is improving every week," Nadal added.

"He has big shots. I needed to be solid and aggressive. I can't make too many mistakes (against someone like him). I knew it was the fourth round - you can't expect an easy opponent at that stage."

Nadal will face rival, and a friend on the Tour, Diego Schwartzmann in the quarter-finals.

A mouth-watering clash with Novak Djokovic waits if they both win their respective matches.

Djokovic in wild Roland Garros drama

Djokovic was completely outplayed by Musetti as he lost the first two sets in tie-breakers, but the match changed dramatically as the Serb fought back to win 6-7(7), 6-7(2), 6-1, 6-0, 4-0 and reach the last eight in Paris for the 15th time.

The World No.1 will now play another Italian after Matteo Berrettini was handed a walkover after Roger Federer's withdrawal.

It was unclear exactly what happened to World No.76 Musetti, whose stylish game was threatening to send Djokovic to his earliest Roland Garros exit since 2009.

Having produced tennis of the highest calibre in two sensational sets, Musetti then lost the third set in 24 minutes and did not even get a point in set four until the fifth game as the match slipped away from him.

A relieved Djokovic went 4-0 ahead in the decider before Musetti quit, in an anti-climactic end to what was brewing up to be a seismic shock in a tournament already full of surprises.

Watch 'Mind Games', the new series from Yahoo Sport Australia exploring the often brutal mental toil elite athletes go through in pursuit of greatness:

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.