Led two rounds to nothing, Stefanos Tsitsipas managed to overthrow mountain Rafael Nadal (3-6, 2-6, 7-6, 6-4, 7-5) in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open.
Stefanos Tsitsipas scored a masterful feat at the Rod Laver Arena, eliminating Rafael Nadal in five sets after being led two sets to zero! The world No. 6 won 6-3, 2-6, 7-6, 6-4, 7-5 after a 4:07 fight, to clinch his second victory in eight games against the Mallorcan. He thus becomes the third player, after Fabio Fognini at the 2015 US Open and Roger Federer in Miami in 2005 to beat Nadal in five games after trailing two sets to zero.
Stunning Stef 😅 # AusOpen | # AO2021 pic.twitter.com/bUzSCKeM3N
– #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) February 17, 2021
This victory was however difficult to imagine at the end of the second set, when Nadal led 6-3, 6-2 after 1h21 of the match. The Spaniard had not had the slightest break point to defend during these first two sets and had committed only ten unforced errors against an apathetic and imprecise Tsitsipas (20 unforced errors, break conceded at 4-3 in the first set and 0-0 and 3-1 in the second). But the third set was a turning point and gave the Greek confidence back. Of the twelve games played, there were no less than eight shutouts, and only three points lost by Tsitsipas and one by Nadal. Logically, it was therefore in the tie-break that they had to decide, and the world No. 6 was the most solid, against his opponent who made unusual mistakes, and won 7- 4.
Third half in Grand Slam for Tsitsipas
More aggressive, the Greek further raised his level of play in the fourth set. He worried Nadal about his serve at 1-1 and 2-2, and what had to happen happened: Tsitsipas made the decisive break at 4-4 and equalized with two innings everywhere moments later. It was therefore necessary to play a fifth set, and the Greek clearly had the physical advantage over the Spaniard. But the man with 20 Grand Slam tournaments did not give up, as usual, holding up to 5-5 (note the 4 aces in 54 seconds served by Tsitsipas to return to 3-3).
The eleventh game was fatal to Nadal, who conceded a white break! On the next game, the Greek missed two match points, on a long rally that ended with a ball out, then a huge return from Nadal. Then the Spaniard got himself a break ball, but his opponent saved it, before concluding two points later. At 22, Stefanos Tsitsipas therefore qualifies for his third Grand Slam semi-final, the second in Melbourne after 2019. He will be opposed to Russian Daniil Medvedev. As for Nadal, he sees his Grand Slam victory counter stop at 20. Novak Djokovic may have the opportunity to come back to 18 on Sunday…
AUSTRALIAN OPEN (Melbourne, Grand Slam, outside hard, $ 35.5 million)
Title holder: Novak Djokovic (SER)
Djokovic (SER, n ° 1) – Karatsev (RUS, Q)
Medvedev (RUS, n ° 4) – Tsitsipas (GRE, n ° 5)
Djokovic (SER, n ° 1) beats A.Zverev (ALL, # 6): 6-7 (6), 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (6)
Karatsev (RUS, Q) beats Dimitrov (BUL, n ° 18): 2-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-2
Medvedev (RUS, n ° 4) beats Rublev (RUS, # 7): 7-5, 6-3, 6-2
Tsitsipas (GRE, n ° 5) beats Nadal (ESP, n ° 2): 3-6, 2-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4, 7-5