Stefanos Tsitsipas, the 22-year-old tennis phenom from Athens, Greece, defeated Rafael Nadal on Wednesday in a five-set match to advance to the semifinals of the 2021 Australian Open.
The fifth-seeded Tsitsipas came back to beat the second-seeded Nadal after losing the first two sets of the match
“I don’t know what happened after the third set,” Tsitsipas told ESPN. “I flew like a little bird.”
During a post-match press conference, Tsitsipas said he merely focused on playing rather than over-thinking.
“Nothing was going through my head,” he said. “I was so much — how would I describe myself? Nirvana. Just, like, there. Playing, not thinking.”
Before his loss to Tsitsipas, Nadal has only lost once in a Grand Slam match after winning the first two sets. That happened during the 2015 U.S. Open against Fabio Fognini.
Nadal is ranked second in the world by the Association of Tennis Professionals and has finished as the year-end number one five times. The 34-year-old Spaniard has won 20 Grand Slam men’s singles titles, tied for the most in history with Roger Federer. Nadal’s 13 French Open titles in particular are a record at any tournament.
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