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‘Rafael Nadal played a great match but was unfortunate,’ Mats Wilander recalls

Rafael Nadal suffered a massive blow at the last year’s Australian Open, losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas 3-6, 2-6, 7-6, 6-4, 7-5 in four hours and five minutes. Nadal injured his back in Adelaide a few weeks earlier and did not know what to expect in Melbourne.

 

Still, he defeated four rivals in straight sets to advance into the quarters, where he opened a massive gap against Tsitsipas. Nonetheless, the Greek survived the third set’s tie break, gathered momentum, and overpowered the Spaniard to deliver one of Rafa’s most brutal losses at Majors!

 

Nadal held everything under control in the opening two sets and had the opportunity to seal the deal in the third before spraying some loose errors in the tie break. Stefanos was already playing well after set number two, gathering a boost in that third and never looking back in his service games.

 

The pressure was on Rafa in sets four and five, and he could not endure it after losing the drive, getting broken once in each to propel the young Greek over the finish line and hit the exit door. It was only the third defeat for the great Spaniard after taking two sets to love to lead and the second at Majors!

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