World number two Rafael Nadal, winner of 20 Grand Slam titles, saw his run at the Australian Open stop in the quarter-finals. The Spaniard was ahead 2 sets to 0 and was dominating against Stefanos Tsitsipas when incredibly the Greek managed to recover, starting from the victory in the tiebreak of the third, and won a success that many considered unexpected.
For Nadal the curse of Melbourne continues, a tournament he won only once back in 2009. It was a particular tournament for everyone, due to the 14-day quarantine prior to the tournament and anomalous situations that complicated the plans of the tennis players.
During an interview with colleagues from Tennis Majors, Rafa explained the reasons why we need to be patient and accept this complicated situation that affects the whole world and consequently also the world of tennis. Interviewed the Spanish champion made the following statements: "The world is experiencing a very difficult situation and there are two solutions, stop the Tour and the tennis tournaments or move forward.
It is clear that this situation makes the tour harder than ever, but stopping everything would make it difficult for several players to survive and therefore create more suffering. Possible solutions? "We have to think big for the calendar, find small solutions and adapt, not just for us but for the whole world" Nadal fought throughout the tournament with back problems but about it after the knockout with Tsitsipas he didn't want to talk about it: "Did I have problems for not training correctly? I don't know, maybe it will be quarantine.
But I don't want to complain or make excuses. I accept everything. I will never consider myself an unfortunate person, even with injuries. I am a very lucky person. On the challenge: "I think the tiebreak of the third set changed everything, if I won I would have gone to rest in the hotel"
Toni Nadal, Rafa’s uncle, and former long-time coach, recently published a column where he tried to break down the quarterfinal match. The 59-year-old praised Tsitsipas for his resilience, which was on display from the third set.
Uncle Toni on Rafael Nadal's defeat
“But from the third set, the intensity that Rafael Nadal had shown so far was subsided and allowed his rival to recover and equalize both the game and the score,” Toni Nadal wrote.
Toni Nadal acknowledged how Rafa held tight in the first two sets. He was dominant and allowed Tsitsipas little room to showcase his skills. However, the scenario changed in the third set when the Greek star rectified his mistakes from the opening sets.
“And so a tie break was reached in which Rafael accused the errors that he had not made in the first two sets of the match, and that in the end had a triggering effect. He gave wings to Tsitsipas to continue fighting hard, to prevail in the next three sets, and thus earn his place in the semifinal,” Toni mentioned.