Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas launched an incredible comeback to defeat Rafael Nadal in five sets and advance to a semifinal date with Russia’s Daniil Medvedev at the Australian Open in Melbourne.
The Greek fifth seed needed more than four hours to seal the win against Nadal, 3-6 2-6 7-6 6-4 7-5, and will meet Medvedev after the Russian saw off compatriot Andrey Rublev in his respective quarterfinal clash.
Chasing a record 21st Grand Slam title, Nadal had seemed on course for victory when he opened up a two-set lead over the 22-year-old Tsitsipas, confidently sealing the first set 6-3 before taking the second 6-2 in similarly straightforward fashion.
But the Greek ace proved a tough nut to crack, sending the third set into a tie-break during which Nadal committed three unforced errors, allowing Tsitsipas a way back into the match.
Inspired by that success, Tsitsipas pressed on to win the fourth and fifth sets, recording one of the biggest wins in his career as he chases a maiden Grand Slam title.
After clinching the win – and becoming only the second man to recover from two sets down to beat Nadal at a Grand Slam – Tsitsipas said he felt like he was “flying like a little bird” from the third set onwards.
Tsitsipas. “I don’t know what happened after the 3rd set. I was flying like a little bird”.
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) February 17, 2021