Stefanos Tsitsipas described his impressive 2021 Australian Open victory over Rafael Nadal as «a truly incredible comeback», noting that his victory required an incredible amount of effort and concentration. In the 2021 Australian Open quarterfinal, Tsitsipas looked headed for a straight-set loss.
Tsitsipas then turned the match around in impressive fashion, claiming an upset 3-6, 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-4, 7-5 victory over Nadal. «I came back from two sets to love and it took an incredible amount of effort and focus to make it happen.
And it was really an amazing comeback. I’ve never had a comeback like that in my career,» Tsitsipas said in a video for the Australian Open.
How Tsitsipas beat Nadal again
Nadal earned the first break of the match in the eighth game to open a 5-3 lead, before serving for the first set in the following game.
After winning the first set, Nadal broke Tsitsipas in the first and fifth games of the second set to open up a comfortable two-set lead. Down by two sets, Tsitsipas improved his serve in the third set when he managed to force a tie-break after failing to give Nadal a single break point in the set.
The key moment of the third set tie-break was Tsitsipas winning three straight points to take a 6-3 lead. Nadal saved the first set point, but Tsitsipas realized his second set point to send the match to a fourth set. After winning the third set, Tsitsipas missed the first break points in the first and fifth games of the fourth set.
However, Tsitsipas kept putting pressure on Nadal and finally broke the Spaniard in the ninth game to open a 5-4 lead in the fourth set. Tsitsipas then routinely served for the fourth set in the tenth game. In the fifth set, no break points were seen until game 11, when Tsitsipas broke Nadal to take a 6-5 lead.
In game 12, Tsitsipas dropped two match points before Nadal earned his first break point of the set. However, Tsitsipas was able to salvage that break point and then hit his third match point to complete an epic comeback against Nadal.