For the second year in a row, world number two Rafael Nadal was released in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of this 2021. Last year the Spaniard was beaten by Dominic Thiem while this time it was Stefanos Tsitsipas' turn, seeded number 6, who recovered from two under and scored an incredible victory.
This victory surprised both fans and all insiders as Rafa in his entire career has lost only two more matches where he was two sets ahead. The first time, we are talking about a very young Rafael Nadal, when he was defeated in the final of the Masters 1000 in Miami by an already more successful Roger Federer while the other time it is more recent and concerns our Fabio Fognini.
It was the US Open in 2015 when Rafa gave up after an incredible comeback by the Italian tennis player. Feliciano Lopez recently spoke about his compatriot Rafael Nadal, showering rich praise on the 34-year-old.
Lopez talks about Rafael Nadal
Feliciano Lopez does have faith, however, that Rafael Nadal will participate in the event if it takes place.
The 39-year-old also highlighted how Nadal is exceptionally well-regarded in Madrid. "It would be great news to celebrate the Madrid Open with people, it is what we want, but the situation is what it is," Lopez said.
"If there is a tournament I trust that Rafael Nadal will be with us, he shows that he feels identified and people acclaim him." Like most Madrid fans, Lopez hopes that Mbappe and Haaland will ply their trade in Madrid some day.
"It was a long time since as a football fan, I had not enjoyed so much with two players like Haaland and Mbappe," Lopez said. "I hope I can see them both in Madrid." 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. Nadal lost a grip of the match as soon as he conceded the tie-break. That moment was enough for Tsitsipas, who capitalized on the moment brilliantly. Tsitsipas took the opportunity and raced to complete the three-set comeback.