Monday, February 17, 2020
Tennis

Rafael Nadal storms into Australian Open final with conquer Stefanos Tsitsipas – mainly because it happened

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Rafael Nadal celebrates his victory against Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images


Katy Murrells

Thu 24 Jan 2019 06.17?EST

First published on Thu 24 Jan 2019 03.10?EST

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  • 5.34am EST
    05:34
    Nadal beats Tsitsipas 6-2, 6-4, 6-0!


  • 5.05am EST
    05:05
    Nadal wins another set 6-4!


  • 4.21am EST
    04:21
    Nadal wins the very first set 6-2!


  • 3.07am EST
    03:07
    Preamble




6.15am EST
06:15

Right that’s it from me. Many thanks for your company today, and do join us tomorrow for coverage of your second semi-final between Novak Djokovic and Lucas Pouille. We shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves – although the last time Nadal and Djokovic met on the Australian Open is at that near six-hour final of 2012. Numerous same on Sunday, please. Bye!

Updated
at 6.15am EST


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6.06am EST
06:06

Helena Smith

This within the Guardian’s correspondent in Athens:

It could be the end on the dream nonetheless the verdict in Greece where compatriots are actually rooting for Tsitsipas is no man has brought them such pride about the tennis court.

“Stefanos Tsitsipas gave what he could. Up against the great Spaniard he didn’t realize your aspirations in prevailing again. But today that is definitely of little importance,” wrote Sports 24 included in the live blog in the match.

Not that long ago tennis would have been a rarified sport in Greece. The sensational 20-year-old has now put it to use the map – and also on the rear of tennis’ new-found attraction, Nadal, as chance would have it, is about to open a tennis academy in the united kingdom.

Updated
at 6.11am EST


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6.01am EST
06:01

Rafael Nadal dismantles Stefanos Tsitsipas to arrive at Australian Open final

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Updated
at 6.10am EST


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5.57am EST
05:57

And don’t worry Nadal’s tennis …


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5.56am EST
05:56


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5.55am EST
05:55


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5.53am EST
05:53

Tsitsipas’s conquer Federer on Sunday was labelled for a changing from the guard in men’s tennis, including by Mr McEnroe, but Nadal have shown that old guard isn’t going anywhere yet. A tournament that began with Andy Murray’s possible goodbye could finish with another creaking 30-something great lifting the title. Nadal’s level of play was quite staggering. He played with such aggression – on serve, in the baseline including the web – cracking 28 winners, facing only one break point and reeling heli-copter flight last nine games.

He’s won 18 consecutive sets this fortnight, was not broken since round one and possesses lost usually only eight games a match. The stats also ., he’s been the participant in this tournament, and he’s playing the most beneficial tennis bigger at a hard court in many years.

Nadal’s one win from the becoming the very first man to claim all grand slams twice in view era and victory on Sunday will be only his second Australian Open title – Ten years after his first.

Updated
at 6.16am EST


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5.45am EST
05:45

“Can you play any benefit than that?” asks John McEnroe while in the on-court interview. “Hopefully yes,” smiles Nadal. “How?” McEnroe asks in almost disbelief. “I are not aware. it’s been an incredible match, a terrific tournament. I’ve played exceptionally well day-to-day. Thanks everyone for that support and everybody who sends me messages inside the low moments.”

Nadal is inquired about the rising youngsters. “They are improving every 4 weeks,” according to him. “That’s the attractive thing about this sport, we can easily share generations. They are simply here now fighting for the most things. If only them an extremely successful career. [Tsitsipas] has everything to turn into a multi grand slam champion. He’s while in the semi-finals, stating a lot of advantages to him. I’m hoping to take care of him in important rounds inside the future.”

McEnroe then hits Nadal with a probing question. “Why perhaps you have gone back to the sleeveless shirt?” he wonders. “I have small issues when I’m playing in hot conditions as soon as i hit my forehand, and so i enjoy playing with no sleeves,” says Nadal. “It makes me feel younger again.”

Lastly, why not consider the very last? “Novak will be the favourite, he’s been in that position so often, but Lucas has amazing potential. Let’s wait and watch. Many things can happen.”


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5.34am EST
05:34

Nadal beats Tsitsipas 6-2, 6-4, 6-0!

At 15-all, Nadal pounds a really Tsitsipas’s forehand, which flies high and wide. 30-15. Nadal efforts to do an audacious volley but shows the guy can sometimes be human when he nets. 30-all. Another netted Nadal volley! 30-40. A first break reason for the match for Tsitsipas! Perhaps he would like to extend his misery for the bit more time, the masochist. But Nadal’s always in charge and desires just to pat away Tsitsipas’s meek lob so that deuce. Advantage Nadal, so after 60 minutes and Forty-five minutes he’s got match point. Tsitsipas smacks his return on the net and Nadal has place the young challenger well and truly in his area to reach his 25th grand slam final! He raises his arms repeatedly and roars towards the night skies. Tsitsipas scurries off court so quickly. It is a long tournament for the 20-year-old but he’s been taught a lesson with a ruthless and inspired Nadal, who’ll now face

Novak Djokovic
sorry either Novak Djokovic or Lucas Pouille in Sunday’s final.

Updated
at 5.46am EST


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5.30am EST
05:30

Third set: Tsitsipas 2-6, 4-6, 0-5 Nadal*

… which Nadal can almost taste when Tsitsipas goes 0-15, 0-30, 0-40 down. Tsitsipas goes with the motions now. He barely tries on the first break point, which Nadal – not surprisingly – wins. The Spaniard’s going to serve for that devote his fifth Australian Open final, and first since his defeat to Roger Federer 2 yrs ago.

Updated
at 5.31am EST


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5.25am EST
05:25

Third set: *Tsitsipas 2-6, 4-6, 0-4 Nadal

Nadal holds additionally, the bagel continues to on …

Updated
at 5.25am EST


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5.24am EST
05:24

Third set: Tsitsipas 2-6, 4-6, 0-3 Nadal*

Tsitsipas may have been broken in this opening game of this set but, credit to him, his resolve doesn’t are most often, you will notice he’s still thinking, seeking to make sure and see a method to get back together into this. Yet this is turning to a tragedy for any young Greek, if a wonderful spinning return from Nadal for 30-all along with a dismissive overhead smash on break point secures the double break.

Updated
at 5.24am EST


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5.17am EST
05:17

I think this is usually a much better match-up for Nadal – he relishes playing right-handers which has a one-handed backhand which is tougher for the crooks to get his viciously spun, high-bouncing forehands back. But I’d also say Nadal is in better form than Federer is. He’s been the top player in the tournament.

Updated
at 5.19am EST


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5.16am EST
05:16

Third set: *Tsitsipas 2-6, 4-6, 0-2 Nadal

So a lot of the talk within the buildup to the present match was about the primary coming of Tsitsipas, however, this is just what looks like the 673rd coming of Nadal. For the majority of yesteryear decade, you would probably have bet your home on injuries ending the Spaniard’s career before Andy Murray’s, but here he or she is, in the end of his physical problems and lay-offs, closing in on another grand slam final with the exceptional first from Roland Garros because 2019 US Open. He’s still been the king of clay during the past year or two, along with 11 French Open titles, but he will not be a king within the hard courts. But he’s ruling over Tsitsipas here, anf the husband biffs a backhand, his 22nd winner of the night, to kick the Greek at the start of the third. And it fell backs it up for 2-0.

Updated
at 5.17am EST


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5.08am EST
05:08


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5.08am EST
05:08


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5.07am EST
05:07


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5.05am EST
05:05

Nadal wins the next set 6-4!

Nadal shows remarkable reactions and dexterity for the net to acquire his racket with a forehand volley for the winner. 30-0. Tsitsipas tonks out, 40-0. Three set points. A stinging serve out wide, Tsitsipas is about the spin and gets his racket for it, although the ball’s not finding their way back into play. The mountain recently got a great deal larger to your young Greek.

Updated
at 5.10am EST


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5.00am EST
05:00

Second set: Tsitsipas 2-6, 4-5 Nadal*

Nadal decides you should strike, and elicits two break points at 15-40. Tsitsipas serves to Nadal’s backhand, sprints straight away to the world wide web, and rushes the Spaniard in to the error. 30-40. Could Tsitsipas actually cover in order to off one more great escape, after his Houdini act at 2-2? No, Tsitsipas definitely makes the error and Rafa races to his chair knowing if he wins your next game he’s a little set from the a fifth Australian Open final. Tsitsipas lashes out in the ball in frustration – and nearly whacks a ballkid instead. That could made his evening even more difficult personal computer already is.

Updated
at 5.00am EST


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4.56am EST
04:56

Second set: *Tsitsipas 2-6, 4-4 Nadal

And do you know what happens next, right? Nadal continues his serving domination with this match with a love hold quicker than it is possible to say: “They’re level starting this company end within the second set.”

Updated
at 4.57am EST


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4.52am EST
04:52

Second set: Tsitsipas 2-6, 4-3 Nadal*

Move along, nothing at all is to find out here. Tsitsipas holds in no time.


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4.51am EST
04:51

Second set: *Tsitsipas 2-6, 3-3 Nadal

Those saved break points were almost like saved set points in the way Nadal is giving nothing away on his serve. Tsitsipas showed tremendous courage under fire for the reason that game, but Nadal is back firing here. A no-nonsense hold and they’re all square while in the second set as the match clock ticks right second hour.


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4.47am EST
04:47


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4.46am EST
04:46

Second set: Tsitsipas 2-6, 3-2 Nadal*

But the progress is stalled. 0-15. 0-30. 0-40. Three break points. Tsitsipas’s team – including Serena Williams’s coach Patrick Mouratoglou, who’s also been improving the Greek – their very own heads with their hands. Tsitsipas generates a fine specify fight the earliest, that has a forehand later on, after that forehand cross-court, and then a deft volley – employing level he needs play at to deny Nadal. He then saves the next and third too! Deuce. And from 0-40, it’s Tsitsipas’s advantage! Could this be a level? Tsitsipas has returned from your brink and takes the action which has an ace out wide. He’s screaming plus the Greek flags are waving.

Updated
at 4.56am EST


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4.39am EST
04:39

Second set: *Tsitsipas 2-6, 2-2 Nadal

A poor volley from Nadal gives Tsitsipas a possibility to the opening point, nonetheless the 14th seed can’t benefit. 15-0, cue a steely Nadal fist pump. 30-15. An ace out wide, 40-15. Tsitsipas challenges … he needn’t have bothered, it caught most of the line. The chase is on for Nadal about the next point, but he will only net. 40-30. A glimmer for Tsitsipas? No, Nadal wins the experience. But that’s initially for the reason that second bet on the match that Tsitsipas has won two points on Nadal’s serve. Small progress continues to be progress, eh?


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4.34am EST
04:34

Second set: Tsitsipas 2-6, 2-1 Nadal*

Tsitsipas found his serving touch in this particular second set. A fierce forehand brings up 40-0. The pair are slicing away at one another within the fourth point, there’s some lobbing and scampering too, and Nadal wins the game of cat and mouse. 40-15. But following that the Greek holds firm for the game. There’s minimal giving on serve at the moment.


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4.29am EST
04:29

Second set: *Tsitsipas 2-6, 1-1 Nadal

Newsflash! Nadal loses only his fourth point on serve. It’s 40-15. But that is about every one of the drama you will find. Nadal secures the next point for the game.


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4.27am EST
04:27

Second set: Tsitsipas 2-6, 1-0 Nadal*

At least Tsitsipas offers the a look at serving first inside the second set. He’s briefly inconvenienced at 30-0 as a ballkid removes an insect from the court – Tsitsipas is probably wishing the ballkid can also remove his opponent in the process – nevertheless the Greek shows character to win his first game in four, anf the husband would it person to love.


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4.21am EST
04:21


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4.21am EST
04:21

Nadal wins the 1st set 6-2!

At 30-15, Nadal sends Tsitsipas by doing this and that way, before coming into the online and setting up a tough, low forehand volley appear to be an exercise shot neighborhood. 40-15, two set points. And Nadal settles matters with the first opportunity by using a serve over the T that Tsitsipas sends long! That’s now 16 sets about the spin he’s won with this year’s Australian Open. If Tsitsipas’s task wasn’t hard enough already, it is merely turn into a tremendous amount tougher. In addition to one or two early nerves from the opening two games, it has been a near-perfect number of tennis from Nadal.

Updated
at 4.33am EST


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4.16am EST
04:16

First set: Tsitsipas 2-5 Nadal*

Tsitsipas is chattering to himself. He’s probably racking your brains on what that is known they can try to subdue Nadal. The Greek could apply the help of the gods, and he’s trying to the skies after serving two consecutive double faults to slide from 40-15 to deuce. Which turns into Nadal’s advantage. A Tsitsipas drop shot has Nadal charging forward as well as the Spaniard will be able to combine the sprint which has a sublime touch for the net helping put the ball behind a backpedalling opponent! Nadal gets the security of an second break and definately will end up following the changeover to serve for that first set.

Updated
at 4.17am EST


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4.10am EST
04:10

First set: *Tsitsipas 2-4 Nadal

Nadal is firing off both wings – “it’s like two forehands” parps Chris Bradnam for the Eurosport commentary – and when Nadal’s backhand will be as vicious as his forehand tonight, what hope does Tsitsipas have? 15-0, 30-0, 40-0, game. After sliding 15-30 down within his opening service game, Nadal hasn’t conceded a point on serve.


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4.06am EST
04:06

First set: Tsitsipas 2-3 Nadal*

However three consecutive games for Nadal have not got a chance to the Greek. Tsitsipas shows admirable resolve to think of a love bet on his or her own, rounding things served by a good looking one-handed backhand winner in the future.

Updated
at 6.23am EST


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4.04am EST
04:04

First set: *Tsitsipas 1-3 Nadal

Nadal backs up the break regarding his first love game. She has design for a person who means business, which can be ominous for his young opponent.

Updated
at 4.05am EST


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4.02am EST
04:02

First set: Tsitsipas 1-2 Nadal*

Tsitsipas and Nadal can be even on unsuccessful Hawk-Eye challenges and are generally also even this video game at 15-all. Nadal forges ahead for 15-30 but Tsitsipas thwacks a forehand cross-court winner for 30-all. Cue a bit of yelp of encouragement from your big 6ft 4in Greek. But it’s to no avail. Nadal soon includes a break point at 30-40 and he decides to get in on Tsitsipas’s net-rushing act. The Greek attempts to go down the fishing line but misses. After 11 minutes, Nadal offers the first break with the match!


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3.55am EST
03:55

First set: *Tsitsipas 1-1 Nadal

Nadal knifes a volley on the tramlines. 0-15. It is the champion looking more nervous as opposed to challenger right now. An unsuccessful Hawk-Eye appeal within the second seed and it’s 15-30. An early on hint of danger on Nadal’s serve. But danger, what danger? Nadal smashes down an ace for 30-all, Tsitsipas loops his one-handed backhand long and Nadal takes the game after another unforced error from his opponent.


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3.50am EST
03:50

First set: Tsitsipas 1-0 Nadal*

Ladies and gentlemen, Stefanos Tsitsipas won the toss and has elected to serve first. Thus, this fascinating match-up of youth v experience, an outstanding slam semi-final debutant v a 17-time major winner is arrived. Tsitsipas starts because methods for take a fantastic, attacking first point, the serve-volley getting him to 15-0. A extended second point plays out additionally it goes the clear way of the Greek. 30-0. Nadal gets to the board that has a brutal backhand return that she takes early, and Tsitsipas nets. 30-15. 40-15. Game, from a netted Nadal return.

Updated
at 3.52am EST


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3.46am EST
03:46

The Greek fans happen to be in good voice, both on Rod Laver and elsewhere. There is, naturally, a deep Greek population in Melbourne.

Updated
at 3.56am EST


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3.43am EST
03:43


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3.41am EST
03:41

Nadal is keeping Tsitsipas waiting. Mind games? The Greek is pacing within the corridors for more than a few moments before the Spaniard appears. Nadal must feel rather old while he sees his opponent, given Tsitsipas probably reminds him of his younger, swashbuckling self. The 32-year-old’s locks are now shorter – and thinner, the bandanas aren’t quite so piratical, the brow is more furrowed, but he is doing have got the extreme focus and relentless energy, which he shows along with obligatory jumping top to bottom through the coin toss pursued by his raging bull charge towards the back with the court for that warm-up.

Updated
at 3.41am EST


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3.37am EST
03:37

The winner on this match will need on either Novak Djokovic or Lucas Pouille, who meet tomorrow. But surely Djokovic needs more snackage than this to fuel his bid for any record seventh Australian Open title?


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3.32am EST
03:32

The head-to-head doesn’t make great reading for Tsitsipas – he was surprised to the Barcelona clay last May 6-2, 6-1 as well as lost to Nadal 3-4 months later while in the Rogers Cup final – that’s not putting him off.

“I felt not far from beating him in Toronto, however the score was 6-2, 7-6,” he says. “I remember returning to the locker room and promising to myself I will do much better against him so when.

“It felt like I understood a little better what he was doing at basketball and then match, especially on hard court. It will be interesting. I find myself like I will take a step good against him.”

Nadal, meanwhile, appears slightly wary. “They can wait a bit,” according to him within the young challengers. “But looks like they don’t really need to wait. They’re here.

“Stefanos is among the best players of the planet. He’s ready to win against anybody. To offer the probability to be in that final, I’ve got to play my best, that is certainly whatever i am in search of.”


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3.29am EST
03:29

They’re raising the top! Nadal is going to be satisfied with that. His powers are slightly weakened indoors, and wasn’t too happy playing within the roof within the Wimbledon semi-final against Novak Djokovic not too long ago.

Updated
at 3.30am EST


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3.27am EST
03:27

“There is often a considerable fanbase growing across the charismatic Greek player while using single-handed backhand along with the multi-layered brain. He will be different, a relaxed and engaging thinker who says there’s more our health than tennis, yet gives the look although drive himself towards extremities of collapse to win a large match. Nadal might force him to visit that place.” These are the basic words of our own man in Melbourne, Kevin Mitchell. Read the rest of his the thing it the semi-final here.


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3.24am EST
03:24

Meanwhile there won’t be any grand slam final for Britain’s Neal Skupski. He and Spain’s Mar

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