Greek tennis star Stefanos Tsitsipas struggled to find the words to explain his remarkable victory over Rafael Nadal in Wednesday’s Australian Open quarter-final clash at the Rod Laver Arena. The 22-year-old was staring down the barrel of defeat after his decorated opponent claimed the first two sets, but managed to fight back in style to book his place in the semi-finals of the competition.
Tsitsipas will meet Russian fourth-seed Daniil Medvedev in Friday’s last four clash, with the winner facing qualifier Aslan Karatsev or world No 1 Novak Djokovic in the final on Sunday.
The rising star became only the third man in history to overcome Nadal after losing two sets, joining the company of Roger Federer and Fabio Fognini in achieving the feat.
His performance bore all the hallmarks of a future Grand Slam champion, with composure, quality and mental resilience on show in abundance after the start of the third set.
Tsitsipas stated during his on-court interview that he was thrilled with his efforts, claiming that his post-match emotions were impossible to describe.
“I’m speechless,” an elated Tsitsipas told Jim Courier. “I have no words to describe what just happened out on court.
“My tennis speaks up for itself. It’s an unbelievable feeling to be able to fight at such a level and just be able to give it my all out on the court.
“Today’s performance was… I started very nervous, I won’t lie. But I don’t know what happened after the third set. I fly like a little bird!
“Everything was working for me, and I think the emotions at the very end there were indescribable, just something else.”
Tsitsipas has gained a reputation for hot-headedness during his fledgling professional career to date, having made a number of high-profile outbursts during previous competitions.
At the 2019 Australian Open, he launched a foul-mouthed tirade at a line judge during his win over Nikoloz Basilashvili, before accidentally hitting his father with his racket as part of a temper tantrum at last year’s ATP Cup, also in Melbourne.
However, he appears to be growing more comfortable with keeping a lid on his emotions, a skill he suggested was a key factor in deciding his latest victory.
“It was something I focused on a lot today, staying calm on the court and holding my nerves,” added Tsitsipas.
“It’s a very important element and I’ve been failing to do so in some of my matches.
“So I think I would also give a big part of my win today to being able to be consistent with my mood, and just stay calm in the crucial tight moments, that helped a lot.
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“My mood was very consistent. I’ve been working on trying to just keep everything to myself and it is also something I’m really happy with, the attitude that I showed out on the court.”
Wednesday’s result marks only the second time Tsitsipas has beaten Nadal, with the Athens-born hopeful coming out on top during the ATP Masters 1000 in Madrid two years ago.
It remains to be seen whether or not he can successfully carry his winning momentum into Friday’s clash with Medvedev, who will be equally optimistic about his chances of making it to the final of this year’s Australian Open.