Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open on Wednesday, Feb 17, 2021. This made him the second player to recover from a two sets to love deficit against the Spaniard. Winning the match a 3-6, 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-4, 7-5 in memorable fashion.
Tsitsipas ruled the first-serve points during the match with a score of 36/43 and struck out twenty-seven winners in the last two sets to seal his first victory against the World No. 2 on hard courts. The three-time Grand Slam semi-finalist joins Fabio Fognini in a deluxe club of players to win against Nadal from two sets down at a Major championship.
The Greek star said after the match in his interview “I have no words to describe what has just happened on the court, my tennis speaks for itself”.
Tsitsipas achieved retribution for his straight-sets defeat to Nadal at this same event in the 2019 semi-finals. The 2019 Nitto ATP Finals champion reached the final four at Roland Garros last year and will now proceed to his third Grand Slam semi-final.
Nadal, who grabbed a two-set lead in a Grand Slam match for the 225th time in his dignified career, has only lost twice from being in that position.
Nadal asserted the opening two sets on Rod Laver Arena, as he drove his backhand crosscourt and directed rallies with his forehand to invariably nudge Tsitsipas behind the baseline and into sensitive positions.
As the match progressed, Tsitsipas pushed Nadal farther back on the court and employed serious pressure on his service games as Nadal began to miss shots.
Tsitsipas broke Nadal’s serve to love for 6-5 lead in a tense decider after he served out the fourth set for 5-4 due to a Nadal forehand error.
Nadal, who is generally more consistent, misfired twice on his overhead on the shot and dumped a forehand into the net.?
Tsitsipas took advantage of this with increasing confidence and aggressive baseline play to seal victory in the space of four hours and five minutes.
The environment became intense when Nadal attempted to ensure a final set tie-breaker, only for Tsitsipas to get back on his feet and clinch a famous victory.
Novak Djokovic will remain World No. 1 due to Nadal’s loss through to at least the 8th of March, when he will surpass Roger Federer to set a new record in the FedEx ATP Rankings.
Tsitsipas said he concentrated on remaining calm and that he was happy with the attitude he portrayed on the court.
Tsitsipas, who has been seen as a destined star for years was close to pulling off this sort of shocker against Djokovic at the French Open semifinals in October, going from two sets down to force a fifth set.
Due to the result of the just concluded match, Nadal won’t be able to proceed with his quest surpass Federer as the all-time Grand Slam leader at 21. The journey continues for Tsitsipas, who will meet Daniil Medvedev in the semifinals on Friday.
Medvedev recently defeated ATP Cup teammate Andrey Rublev on Wednesday.
Medvedev leads his head-to-head against Tsitsipas 5-1.
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