Stefanos Tsitsipas ‘speechless’ after Australian Open comeback to beat Rafael Nadal

Australian Open: Five things to watch

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Stefanos Tsitsipas claimed he flew like “a little bird” after flying into the Australian Open semi-finals by downing Rafa Nadal. The Greek god staged a stunning comeback come two sets down to beat the world No.2 3-6 2-6 7-6 6-4 7-5 in a four-hour classic.

The shock result ended the Spaniard’s bid to set a new men’s record of 21 Grand Slam singles titles.

But Tsitsipas, 22, showed he is a future Major champion with the best win of his career.

The world No 6 said: “I am speechless. I have no words to describe what just happened out on court. My tennis speaks for itself.

“It is an unbelievable feeling to be able to fight at such a level. Just be able to give it my all out on the court. I started very nervous. I don’t know what happened after the third set. I flew like a little bird. Everything was working for me. The emotions at the end are undescribable. Something else.

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Tsitsipas, who benefitted from a walkover in the last round when Matteo Berrettini pulled out injured, kept his occasionally volatile temper in check throughout the rollercoaster encounter.

“It was something I focussed on a lot on today, staying calm on the court and holding my nerve is an very important element and something I have failed to do in some of my matches,” said the world No.6

“I would also give a bit part of my win today to being able to be consistent in my mood and just stay calm in the curcila, tight moments. That helped a lot. I have been working on trying to keep everything to myself. It is something I am really happy with the attitude I showed on court.”

It is the first time Nadal has lost from two sets up since he lost to Fabio Fognini at the 2015 US Open.

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The French Open champion, who was seeking to become only the third man in history to complete two career Grand Slams, has still only won one Australian Open n 2009

Tsitispas will now face Daniil Medvedev after the world No.4 beat his fellow Russian Andrey Rublev 7-5 6-3 6-2.

Medvedev has now won 19 consecutive matches and has 11th consecutive victories against a top-ten player.

The Greek said: “He is an opponent that plays really well. Very consistent. He has had a lot of consecutive wins. I need to recover and have an ice bath. I am looking forward to that match – I know he is going to give me a hard time on the court.”

Novak Djokovic will face world No.114 Aslan Karatsev in the other semi tomorrow.

The French Open champion won the first two sets comfortably to take his streak to 35 consecutive sets won in Grand Slams. But the Spaniard was unable to equal Roger Federer’s record as Tsitsipas avoided the straights sets defeat he suffered against Nadal in the 2019 Australian Open semi-final.

The world No.2 won an astonishing 27 out of 28 points on his serve but the world No.6 played more aggressively and forced the tiebreak. And then Nadal missed two overheads and shanked a backhand into the stands to gift the Greek the 54-minute set.

Tsitsipas broke serve for the first time after three hours and five minutes to lead 5-4 before serving out the fourth set.

And in a titanic final set, Nadal made three unforced errors serving at 5-5 to allow the Tsitsipas to take his third match point with a backhand winner down the line.

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