PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal reaches Australian Open final after beating Stefanos Tsitsipas

World No. 2 Rafael Nadal outlasted Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-2, 6-0 in an Australian Open semifinal on Thursday night.

Staging a clinic under the lights at Rod Laver Arena, the Spanish second seed tamed the Tsitsipas serve and racked up 28 sparkling winners against the man who had knocked out double defending champion Roger Federer in the fourth round. After roaring to a 5-0 lead in the final set, Rafa closed out the match with a huge serve in one hour and 46 minutes leaving Tsitsipas to beat a hasty exit from the stadium.

After the match, Rafa said:

Has been a great match, great tournament. I played well every day.

They[Next Gen stars] don’t needany message. They are good. They are improving every month. It’s always a big challenge to play against them. But that’s the beautiful thing about this sport, we are able to share generations. They are here already.

Our champ will face either Novak Djokovic and Lucas Poille in Sunday’s final as he bids to become only the third man in history to win all four majors at least twice after Rod Laver and Roy Emerson.

Rafa:

Of course, Novak is the favourite. He’s been in that position so many times. Lucas this is the first one. I always thought Lucas is one of those players with amazing potential. It’s true that Novak is unbelievably solid but it’s a tennis match and anything could happen.

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26 comments

  1. I always enjoy the post-match interviews by both players. After Stephanos’s Toronto loss he said, “Rafa makes you suffer.”

    Following is a copy of his post-match interview. Ya gotta feel for the kid. He is suffering.

    Australian Open: Rafael Nadal plays tennis from a different dimension, says stunned Stefanos Tsitsipas
    WRITTEN BY
    BEN SPRATT

    Stefanos Tsitsipas said he could take little from an Australian Open semi-final in which he was blown away by Rafael Nadal’s unique style.

    Former world number one Nadal completed a comprehensive three-set victory in under two hours on Thursday, with the Greek youngster failing to force a single break-point opportunity until the final game of the match.

    Tsitsipas was outclassed and admitted that he was left dazed by a dominant Nadal display that punished his every error, putting a dampener on a tournament in which he defeated Roger Federer.

    Describing Nadal’s performance, the 20-year-old said it “felt like a different dimension of tennis”.

    “Honestly, I have no idea what I can take from that match,” Tsitsipas told a news conference after the 6-2 6-4 6-0 drubbing.

    “It’s not that I was even close to get to something. I only got six games from that match.

    “I don’t know, I feel very strange. I feel happy with my performance in this tournament but, at the same time, I feel disappointed.
    “I feel like I could do a bit better today, but it’s a very, very weird feeling. I almost felt like I just couldn’t play better. I don’t know.

    “Nadal did surprise me with his serve. He’s not the biggest server on the Tour, so it’s annoying that I didn’t get close to breaking him at all. He’s just very aggressive from the baseline. That’s pretty much it.

    “I really can’t think of something positive from that match. Probably the second set, which was the one that I got closer to.
    “The rest felt like, in a way, it wasn’t tennis so much like the other matches that I played. It felt like a different dimension of tennis completely.

    “He gives you no rhythm. He plays just a different game style than the rest of the players. He has this talent that no other player has. I’ve never seen a player have this. He makes you play bad. I would call that a talent.”

    Tsitsipas revealed he was particularly dismayed as he had been confident that, following defeat to Nadal at the 2018 Rogers Cup, he would be able to beat the Spaniard.

    “Hopefully I get closer next time. I’ve been working really hard,” he said. “As it seems, it’s going even worse than before.”

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    • HAHAHA Margo you’re spot on! I’m watching the Stefanos interview, and he cuts such a dejected figure! As if he’s reassessing his life choices!! I feel terrible for him. Okay… not that terrible:)

      Please please please Mr Nadal, kindly do the same to Djoker on Sunday! Make him assess whether he would like to continue playing tennis as a career.

      Counting on you Rafa!

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      • C’mon Mac, that’s not funny, where’s your heart, your empathetic nature….ok…you got me laughing too. He has been humbled by the king of humble.

        I think Stephanos’s braggadocio attitude was to reassure himself that only after some months he was capable of beating anyone; he just happened to forget about Rafa.

        Knowing now what I know about how he’s been training has cemented my expectation of him beating Nole or Pouille in the final. I also expect more Slam wins for 2019.

        I can’t believe Stephanos did worse than Tiafoe. That bagel probably stings more than losing. He will have to get over it, plain and simple.

        Rafa has almost three days to prepare for the final. May the tennis gods be with him.

        RAFA ROCKS HIS NEW TWEAKS

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  2. OMG. Rafa winning again in 3 sets. Is there anything this man can’t do. Please, I would like Rafa to win this AO title, this is long overdue. He truly deserves this title so much. So, now Rafa can rest up, put his thinking cap on and go for that no. 18. He can do this for sure. Fingers Cross.

    We are all with you. No.1 always and forever

    VAMOS RAFA

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  3. Congrats Rafa while youre playing my heart beat fast😂😂😂😘😘😘😘😘😘 im happy on the 3rd sets i was thinking 6 0 and it happens😊😊😊😊😊

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  4. Omg! Rafa is on FIRE! Defeating yet another media hyped NextGen player. My cheers awoke my family at 2:30a. I am so happy for him and his amazing team who has made the right changes to his game. Rest well to hoist the trophy on Sunday. Vamos.

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  5. I am not going to worry about Sunday and just enjoy today. Has Rafa ever played better on hard courts? He was so flawless today. He was a joy to watch. Tsitsipas is very talented, but he could not match Rafa’s efforts and then became so frustrated. I am thrilled on how Rafa talks about playing several years.

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    • I don’t think there is anything to worry about. The team has been working on Rafa’s serve; making him more aggressive; and teaching him what to do when he finds himself in a tight spot.

      IMHO After learning of the new initiatives Team Rafa has been working on it is apparent this tournament is a prime example of Rafa reaping the fruits of his labor. As long as his confidence level is where it should be, RAFA IS UNSTOPPABLE.

      RAFAMAZING DOES IT AGAIN

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  6. I said that Rafa always has something up his sleeve. I should have said Carlos, Maymo, and Francis always have something up their sleeve.

    If anyone is interested in learning how Rafa has made yet another miraculous metamorphosis you can read the article “Technology at Nadal’s Service” Rafael Plaza ATP Tour dated January 20, 2019.

    To say the least, it was a challenge for Carlos to get Rafa to change what he was doing and adopt some of the fundamental tweaks Carlos suggested to improve his serve. We are witnessing the fantastic work that Rafa’s team is doing to keep our champ healthy AND winning tournaments. Did I predict multiple slam wins this tennis season.

    CARLOS, MAYMO AND FRANCIS ROCK

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  7. Truly awesome! Rafa’s got everything going to plan right now and in rapid time! What an incredible tennis brain. If Novak gets through his semi, then the ultimate test is yet to come and i think Rafa’s going to pass it.

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  8. You, Rafael Nadal, were magic! What a fabulous performance after your struggles this season. We are so proud-thank you🙏🏻 for all the effort to reach this point. Enjoy this victory and good luck in the final.👏💪👊💪😎🤗🍀❤️

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  9. Rafa is playing out of this world right now. If Stefanos hadn’t taken out Roger, Rafa would have sent him to the cleaners today!

    One more hoop to jump through for our champ. Rafa just needs to stay focused and bring that intensity like he’s been doing so far.

    Vamos!

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  10. I can’t take another Australian Open final heartbreaker – please, please, let this one go OK! Great performance today. I think John McEnroe needs a cold shower, though – does he normally hang around toilets looking at people half-naked 🙂 ?!

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    • I though it was really weird and inappropriate too. What’s up with McEnroe’s fascination (with Rafa’s body)?

      Is it possible that at the age of 32, Rafa is playing his best tennis (on all courts)? Is he as dominating on hard court now as on clay (that’s a scary proposition for the rest of the tour).

      Rafa, you’re the best! Good luck on Sunday!

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  11. Congratulations Rafa well don vamossssssssssssss 💪💪💪💪💪💪💪💪💪💪💪💪💪💪💪💪🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🇺🇸🇺🇸😘❤️

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  12. Unbelivable! What an outstanding performance! So happy for Rafa. He deserves it so much. Take rest, enjoy some time with Xisca and than go for #18 on sunday. You can do it. We are all with you. Vamos Rafa ❤

    Like

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