Australian Open - 'Phenomenal' Stefanos Tsitsipas roars back to stun Rafael Nadal and reach semis
The hotly-anticipated quarter-final clash between Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas looked for two sets as though it was a hopelessly one-sided disappointment, before a remarkable comeback from the Greek sparked it to life. Tsitsipas eventually triumphed in a five-set classic at Melbourne Park to reach the semi-finals.
Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates after winning against Spain's Rafael Nadal during their men's singles quarter-final match on day ten of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne
Nadal, whose back injury from the early rounds again appeared to be nothing but a distant memory, comprehensively outplayed his opponent for two underwhelming sets on Rod Laver Arena.
'Monumental' - Watch the thrilling final points as Tsitsipas beat Nadal
Tsitsipas had signalled his bullish intent from the opening point, attacking Nadal’s backhand side with an approach that Eurosport expert Frew McMillan said, “simply had to be aggressive”.
The challenge of facing the second seed and 2009 champion seemed to be too arduous for an uninspired Tsitsipas until he managed to suddenly rise to the challenge in spectacular fashion in the third set.
Highlights: Tsitsipas launches astonishing comeback to beat Nadal
The fifth seed roared back to win the tie-break 7-4 and the momentum shifted violently into the fourth set as Tsitsipas carried his momentum through and secured the crucial break of serve to level up the match.
'Unbelievable feeling' - Tsitsipas reacts to remarkable win over Nadal
While the match appeared to be destined for a final set tie-break, the Greek suddenly broke Nadal's serve in decisive fashion to lead 6-5 and he duly served out the match in style.
“I’m speechless. I have no words to describe what just happened out on court," Tsitsipas said in his on-court interview. "My tennis speaks for itself. It’s an unbelievable feeling to be able to fight at such a level.
Today’s performance, I started nervous, I don’t know what happened. I flew like a little bird, everything was working for me. The emotions at the end are indescribable.
"Holding my nerves is important having failed to do so in some of my matches. I would give a big part of my win to being consistent with my mood and staying calm.
"I was just trying to keep everything to myself. It is something I’m really happy with, the attitude I showed out on court."