Australian Open: Rafael Nadal reigns supreme to demolish Stefanos Tsitsipas


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Australian Open: Rafael Nadal reigns supreme to demolish Stefanos Tsitsipas

The world no. 2 and 2009 Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal is through to his 25th Grand Slam final after a brilliant 6-2, 6-4, 6-0 triumph over Stefanos Tsitsipas in an hour and 46 minutes! The 20-year-old Greek was seeking the place in the first Grand Slam final and becoming the youngest player in a Major final since Novak Djokovic at the US Open 2007 but he couldn't do anything against the rival who has already beat in the final of Barcelona and Toronto last year, never finding his rhythm and finishing his glory run in the semi-final and just outside the top-10.

This was the ninth largest gap in the Grand Slam semi-final match in the Open era and Nadal was the dominant figure from start to finish, sailing through his service games and mounting the pressure on the other side of the net that proved to be too much to handle for Stefanos.

With his new serve working like a charm, the Spaniard lost 12 points behind the initial shot in the entire match, facing one break point while serving for the win at 5-0 in the third set and never losing his focus in what was another emphatic triumph that brings him on a verge of lifting the 18th Major crown.

On the other hand, Rafa won 43% of the return points, taming Tsitsipas' serve and creating 11 break points that he converted into six breaks of serve, more than enough to control the scoreboard all the time. With his groundstrokes fired up from the very first point, Nadal finished the match on 28 winners and 14 unforced errors, doing everything right on the court and keeping Stefanos on a 17-22 ratio that wasn't enough for a more favorable result.

Unlike against Roger Federer two rounds ago, Tsitsipas was just a shadow on the court for the most of the encounter, finding no space to place his strokes or the way to steal the momentum away from Rafa and impose his shots that have driven him towards the semi-final.

Nadal lost just three points on serve in the opening set and he scored two breaks in games three and seven to bring it home safely and send the clear message to his rival. Stefanos raised his level a little bit in set number two, fending off three break points in the fifth game before Rafa broke him at 4-4 to seal the deal with a service winner in game ten, dropping four points in five service games for two sets to love lead after 75 minutes.

Stefanos was done and dusted now and he lost 12 of 15 points on serve in set number three, giving his serve away three times to push Rafa into the final after a service winner from the Spaniard in the sixth game. Semi-final result:

[2]Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs [14]Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) 6-2 6-4 6-0