Record 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal admitted that Stefanos Tsitsipas played very good in key moments of the match and that was one of the biggest reasons for the way their match ended on Wednesday. Nadal, seeded at No.
2, was in full control of the match before world No. 6 Tsitsipas stormed back to win 3-6 2-6 7-6 (4) 6-4 7-5 and progress into his second Australian Open semifinal. After losing the first two sets, Tsitsipas converted his second set point in the third-set tie-break to win a tight third-setter and avoid a straight-set loss.
Everything changed after the third set as Tsitsipas broke Nadal in the ninth game of the fourth set, before serving out for a decider in the following game. In the fifth set, Tsitsipas broke Nadal in the 11th game and served out for the match in the following game.
"It was a little bit of everything. I missed a lot of balls in the tie break I shouldn't. Stefanos played very good 4th and 5th set. I was there," Nadal said, per Tennis Majors.
Nadal praised Tsitsipas
For the second consecutive year, Nadal has finished his campaign at Melbourne Park in the quarterfinal.
"I'm sad. I missed an opportunity to be in semi. I played my best, had right attitude, stayed positive all the time, fighting, no complaining. It was not enough. And that's it. Another loss here in Australia with importante advantage.
I accept," Nadal admitted. Nadal, who thrashed Tsitsipas in the 2019 Australian Open semifinal, gave credit to the Greek after their latest clash. "He's one of the best players of the world, I had to be ready for anything.
His level changed in the 3rd, he played a very very high level in the 4th and 5th. I have to go back home and practice to be better, that's it," Nadal said of Tsitsipas.