‘Wow’ is the only word to describe the epic clash between tennis superstars Stefanos Tsitsipas and Rafael Nadal tonight, with the Greek narrowly coming out on top 6-3 6-2 6-7 4-6 6-4.
Tsitsipas was back in yellow on the court tonight, still with no fans in the crowd, proving to be a hindrance to both players. Nadal last faced the Greek in the Australian Open in 2019, where he won in three straight sets.
Tsitsipas had a strong start to the match and showed from early on there would be no three-set shutdown. Almost pushing him to a break point, the Greek did well to capitalise on Nadal’s slower serve, only hitting 145km/hr during his service game.
Of course for either player, the match would be no easy road to victory. The Spaniard also threatened to break Tsitsipas multiple times during the first set, ultimately succeeding and bringing himself to a 5-3 lead. Nadal eventually went on to win the first set 6-3.
Despite a first set loss, Tsitsipas played well against the current World No. 2, who has had over 10 years of experience in the Australian Open.
Despite the Greek’s best efforts to come out strong after being a set down, the Spaniard was truly unstoppable. Nadal managed to get a break point in Tsitsipas’ first service game, securing an early set lead.
An incredible showman despite the crowd, Nadal delivered near-perfect cross-court shots that would force even Djokovic to sit down and hold his racquet in disbelief. Nadal claimed a second break point in the second set, breezing through to the third set.
Set three saw a much closer competition between the two tennis professionals. Both players took their service games convincingly, with Tsitsipas finally bringing in his strong right arm serve.
Taking the game to a tie-breaker, both players struck hard and fierce, Tsitsipas finally looking for a lifeline to stay in this tournament. That lifeline thankfully came for the Greek, and while many people may have written him off, Tsitsipas persevered and came through to win the third set n the tie-breaker.
Tsitsipas entered the fourth set with the same passion he left the third. The Greek almost managed to take a break point in the first game, yet was held off by the Spaniard. From this point, the tide had certainly turned towards Tsitsipas’ favour. Almost every one of Nadal’s service games was challenged closely by Tsitsipas.
Tsitsipas’ efforts finally came to fruition after the Greek managed to secure a break point before his final service game. The Greek expertly finished up the set 6-4 and pushed the match into a decider fifth set.
The fifth set really showed the competitive level of both players this tournament. World class from beginning end, regardless of the result.
But at the end of the day there can only be one winner, and this winner truly proved himself tonight.
Stefanos Tsitsipas took a break point on Nadal’s final service game, and despite Tsitsipas’ service hitting a deuce, the Greek took the set and match, marking an incredible comeback.
“I don’t know what happened after the third set,” Tsitsipas said after the match.