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Shock as Rafael Nadal's bid for record 21st Grand Slam title ended by Tsitsipas

TENNIS By Waweru Titus | February 17th 2021
Tennis - Australian Open - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 17, 2021. Spain's Rafael Nadal reacts during his quarter final match against Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas. [REUTERS/Jaimi Joy]

Rafael Nadal's hunt for a record 21st Grand Slam title ended at the Australian Open on Wednesday with a quarter-final defeat to fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Nadal was overhauled 3-6 2-6 7-6(4) 6-4 7-5 by the Greek in the mouth-watering clash at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne.

Tsitsipas, who was in disbelief after outclassing the King of Clay, said he was calm and collected even after going down in two straight sets.

"I focused a lot on staying calm and holding my nerves, it is a very important element for me.

"I have failed to do it in some of my matches. A big part of my win was staying calm in the crucial tight moments.

"My mood was consistent and I have been trying to keep everything to myself. I'm happy with my attitude on court,” Tsitsipas told the BBC Sport.

Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates winning his quarter final match against Spain's Rafael Nadal. [REUTERS/Jaimi Joy]

The Greek, who needed over four hours to overcome Nadal, could not hide his joy pointing out his ‘feelings were indescribable.'

"I'm speechless, I have no words to describe what just happened on court.

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"My tennis speaks for itself. It is an unbelievable feeling to fight at such a level and give it my all on the court.

"I started very nervous, I won't lie. I don't know what happened after the third set. I flew like a little bird.

"Everything worked for me and the feelings are indescribable,” said Tsitsipas.

The 22-year-old will now face Russia's Daniil Medvedev in Friday's semi-final.

Fourth seed Medvedev overcame compatriot Andrey Rublev to reach the last four at the Australian Open for the first time.


Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas shakes hands with Spain's Rafael Nadal after winning his quarter-final match. [REUTERS/Jaimi Joy]
Tsitsipas shakes hands with Spain's Nadal. [REUTERS/Loren Elliott]
Spain's Rafael Nadal's reflection can be seen is in action. [REUTERS/Loren Elliott]
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