Tsitsipas stuns Nadal, moves on to semi-finals
Melbourne, Australian, Feb 17 (efe-epa).- Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas on Wednesday stunned Spaniard Rafael Nadal, who squandered a two-set led in the Australian Open quarterfinal.
Tsitsipas secured his second semifinal appearance Down Under and his third overall in Grand Slam tournaments after winning a marathon match 3-6, 2-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4, 7-5 that lasted over four hours, ending Nadal’s quest for a record 21st Grand Slam title.
“I have no words to describe what has just happened on the court, my tennis speaks for itself,” said Tsitsipas – who did not have to step on court in the previous round after Matteo Berrettini’s withdrawal.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling to fight at such a high level and leave it out on the court. I started very nervously. I don’t know what happened after the third set. I flew like a bird and everything worked for me,” he added.
A Nadal victory seemed to be a formality after the second seed seized the first opportunity he created to break the Greek’s serve and clinch the first without facing a single break point.
Things even got better for the Spaniard in the second frame as he doubled his lead to 2-0 with a minimum of fuss.
Both players held serve throughout the third set, forcing a tiebreak that proved to be the turning point, as Nadal committed three unforced errors that handed the set to Tsitsipas on a plate.
The momentum had firmly shifted by the fourth set, as Nadal was unable to carve out any chances on Tsitsipas’ serve, while the Greek broke in the ninth game – capitalizing on one of four break points – before serving for the set.
In the deciding frame, Tsitsipas broke Nadal’s serve in the 11th game and fended off typical never-say-die attempts from the Spaniard in the following game to seal the contest on the Greek’s third match point.
Next for Tsitsipas will be Russia’s Daniil Medvedev who easily dismissed his compatriot Andrey Rublev in a comfortable 7-5, 6-3, 6-2 victory to make the Australian Open semi-finals for the first time.