Stefanos Tsitsipas has shocked the tennis world at the Australian Open, knocking out Rafael Nadal after coming back from a two-set deficit.
Tsitsipas completed one of the most extraordinary comebacks in Australian Open history on Wednesday night, beating the World No.2 3-6 2-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 7-5.
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It's just the second time in Nadal's 19-year career that he's lost a grand slam match after winning the first two sets.
Up two sets to love on Rod Laver Arena, Nadal appeared well on his way to a 35th grand slam semi-final until the Greek found his wings.
Tsitsipas hunkered down to pinch the third set in a tiebreak, then went on to claim the match of the tournament to set up a last-four showdown with Daniil Medvedev.
"It's an unbelievable feeling to be able to fight on such a level," Tsitsipas said after the match.
"I don't know what happened after the third set, I flew like a little bird - everything was working for me."
The only time Nadal has coughed up a two-set lead at a major was against Fabio Fognini at the 2015 US Open.
He'd only lost one other Masters series match against Roger Federer the same way.
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An exceptional standard of tennis by Nadal in the first two sets gave little indication of the drama that was to unfold.
The 34-year-old looked almost untouchable, striking winner after winner, hitting just 12 unforced errors and not facing a break point.
Nadal then lost just a solitary point in his six service games in the third set but Tsitsipas refused to cede on his own delivery and took it to a tiebreaker.
A handful of Nadal mistakes then saw the match pivot.
Extracting two Nadal errors off smashes and a shanked forehand to bring up three set points, Tsitsipas took advantage of the second to bring the match alive.
Opportunities became more frequent for Tsitsipas in the fourth set, the two-time grand slam semi-finalist eventually converting in the ninth game to help draw the match level.
His confidence continued to grow in the decider, Tsitsipas breaking Nadal to love in the 11th game and taking out the contest on his third match-point with a down-the-line winner.
The loss leaves Nadal equal with Federer on 20 grand slam wins, Novak Djokovic moving to 18 if he is victorious at Melbourne Park for the ninth time.
"Of course (I'm ) sad," Nadal said.
"I lost a match in the quarter-finals of an event that mean a lot to me.
"The Australian Open is one of my favourite events, without a doubt. So I missed an opportunity to be in the semi-finals again."
Nadal has won just one trophy here in 2009 - making for his least successful major while also having his share of bad luck including picking up an injury during the 2014 decider against Stan Wawrinka.
The tennis world was left in disbelief over the insane scenes.
— Thanasi Kokkinakis (@TKokkinakis) February 17, 2021
Stunning display from Tsitsipas. Looked down and out after the first two sets. But comes back to become only the second player *ever* to beat Nadal from a 2-0 deficit at a Slam. Unbelievable. #AusOpen
— Joe Krishnan (@joekrishnan) February 17, 2021
Two years ago Nadal “destroyed” Tsitipas, per the Greek’s own words. Would have been easy to just succumb after falling two sets behind with virtually no resistance, but he didn’t, his attitude was amazing. #AusOpen
— Saša Ozmo (@ozmo_sasa) February 17, 2021
My GOD! That was a truly titanic tussle. I'm delighted to see the Next Generation bringing their best to the Big Three (or Two atm). Nothing against Nadal, a legend and a true gent, but I'm ready to see the back of 'em. Will be rooting for Karatsev against Djokovic! #AusOpen
— Anton 'Robin Peter to Paypal' Starch (@starchanton) February 17, 2021
My god, I've never seen a tennis match like that one.
Nadal was from another planet until the third set tie-break then Tsitsipas just played the best match of his life.
— Alex Lowe (@Lowey1993) February 17, 2021
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) February 17, 2021
Stefanos Tsitsipas comes back to beat Rafael Nadal 3-6, 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-4, 7-5 and reach the #AusOpen semifinals for the 2nd time.
He is just the 3rd ever player to comeback from two sets down against Rafael Nadal. Looked completely done after 80 minutes.
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) February 17, 2021
Incredible comeback! Incredible win! Incredible player!
Stefanos Tsitsipas comes from two sets to love to defeat Rafael Nadal 3-6, 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-4, 7-5, reaching the #AusOpen semifinals!
That was a classic! pic.twitter.com/VEapyOiGKX
— Biola Solace-Chukwu (@Beeorlicious) February 17, 2021
YEEEEEEESSSSSSS!!!!!! INCREDIBLE!!!!WHAT A COMEBACK!!! BRAVO TSITSIPAS!!! 🇬🇷 🇬🇷 🇬🇷 🇬🇷 🇬🇷#AusOpen
— Michael (@Michael_Vissini) February 17, 2021
What an insane game of tennis! Gutted for Nadal, but insane respect for Tsitsipas. What a performance. Take a bow#AusOpen
— Nipun (@NipunSyn) February 17, 2021
One of the greatest comebacks in the past few years and modern day tennis! Take a bow Stefanos Tsitsipas. From 2 sets down and beating a legend like Nadal. Insane. Mindblowing tennis. #AusOpen
— Jainam Mehta (@Jainam09) February 17, 2021
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