World No. 2 Rafael Nadal’s bid for his 21st Grand Slam title was halted Wednesday by Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, 3-6, 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-4, 7-5, to reach the semifinals of the Australian Open.
Heading into the matchup at Rod Laver Arena, the Spanish tennis superstar had not lost a set and was locked on target for the last four at Melbourne Park after roaring to a two-set lead over the listless Greek.
However, Tsitsipas rises from two sets down to complete a quarterfinal shocker over Nadal. The latter wavered in a messy 3rd set tiebreak, and the former, already rejuvenated, rallied brilliantly to take the match into a decider and eventually the winning the match entirely.
“Well done for him, he played better than me probably in the important moments,” Nadal told reporters.
“I tried my best in every single moment. I think I stayed positive all the time during the match, fighting, and it was not enough. Sometimes it’s enough, today was not enough,” added Nadal, who suffered his second defeat after claiming the first two sets in a match.
For his part, Tsitsipas said: “I fly like a little bird and everything was working for me. The emotions in the end are indescribable.”
“I have no words to describe what just happened on court. My tennis speaks out for itself. It’s an unbelievable feeling to be able to fight on such level, just to be able to leave my all out on court,” added the 22-year-old Greek tennis player.
“I started very nervous but I don’t know what happened after the 3rd set,” he further continued.
Tsitsipas will face Danil Medvedev of Russia in the semi-final rounds of the Australian Open.