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.
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.