Rafael Nadal cruised to the Australian Open quarterfinals, with each of his opponents failing to win a single set. But despite this dominant run, he couldn’t find a way past the No. 5-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Nadal opened the quarterfinals match against Tsitsipas by winning the two first sets in a comfortable fashion (3-6, 2-6). Neither player managed to break in the third set, setting up a tiebreak in which the 34-year-old Spaniard took an early 2-1 lead.
However, several unforced errors allowed Tsitsipas to make a comeback and win the tiebreak 7-4. He then won the fourth set as well, setting up a thrilling finale.
In the fifth set, Nadal had a 5-4 lead at one point before Tsitsipas won two straight games and got an opportunity to serve for the win. The 22-year-old Greek kept his composure despite starting 0-30 and managed to secure his second Australian Open semifinals.
“I’m speechless,” said Tsitsipas after the match. “I have no words to describe what just happened. It’s an unbelievable feeling to be able to fight at such a level and just be able to give it my all on the court.”
Stefanos Tsitsipas is now set to face Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open semifinals in an attempt to get to his first career Grand Slam finals. On the other side of the bracket, Novak Djokovic will play against AslanKaratsev.
Rafael Nadal, on the other hand, missed an opportunity to stay in the hunt for his 21st Grand Slam title, which would be the most Majors titles in history for a male tennis player.