'I expected Rafael Nadal's experience to be...', says former ATP star



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'I expected Rafael Nadal's experience to be...', says former ATP star

Stefanos Tsitsipas has won an incredible match against Rafael Nadal and qualifies for the third time in his career for the semi-final in a Grand Slam tournament, the second here in Melbourne after 2019. A stunning comeback victory after going under two set and after four hours and five minutes of battle.

Tsitsipas beats Nadal 3-6, 2-6, 7-6, 6-4, 7-5 The first two sets of the match against the Greek are without history: the number six in the world is too discontinuous and suffers from Rafa's left-handed and poisonous trajectories.

In the third, however, Tsitsipas finds the square in the service and leads the Spaniard to the tie-break. Tie-break in which Nadal misses two easy smashes and gives his opponent three set points: Stefanos doesn't tremble and takes the match to the fourth.

At this point, almost unexpectedly, the inertia of the match changes. The fourth set is balanced like the previous one, but this time the Greek closes the practice early, winning the ninth game and closing the fraction 6-4.

He goes to fifth in a completely different situation than at the beginning. Now it is Tsitsipas who moves the game and dominates the exchanges: his pulse no longer trembles and at the eleventh game the break comes. Stefanos goes to serve for the match at 6-5 and, despite Nadal's final resistance, conquers the most important victory of his career with a fantastic backhand, the second of eight games against Rafa.

Waiting for him in the semifinals will be Daniil Medvedev, the last remaining obstacle to his first Grand Slam final. Yevgeny Kafelnikov recently spoke with Tennis Majors about Rafael Nadal's exit from the 2021 Australian Open.

Kafelnikov expressed surprise at the manner of Nadal's loss on Wednesday.

Kafelnikov talks about Rafael Nadal's loss

"The way the first two sets unfolded, of course I did not expect for Tsitsipas to win," Yevgeny Kafelnikov said.

"It was shocking for me that Rafael Nadal lost three straight sets.Tsitsipas is definitely a great player, no question about it; he is very talented and he has got the skills to be one of the very best." Yevgeny Kafelnikov lauded Stefanos Tsitsipas' first serve, which was so strong against Rafael Nadal that the Spaniard was able to create only one break-point opportunity in the last three sets.

"Stefanos serves well, he moves around the court really well and is adept at the net, all of which makes him very good for the game of tennis," Kafelnikov said. "I am not surprised by his good run, but I am with today’s results since I expected Rafa's experience to be the deciding factor. This time, though, youth prevailed."