Rafael Nadal’s run at the Australian Open has been nothing short of impressive. He hadn’t dropped a set en route to a semifinal clash with Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Tsitsipas, the young tennis star from Greece, had become the talk of the Australian Open. He shocked the world with his fourth-round win over Roger Federer, then backed it up with another impressive victory over Roberto Bautista Agut.
Despite that momentum, it did not stop Nadal from doing what he does best: playing his best tennis and stifling his opponent. The Spaniard took the contest in convincing fashion, winning it 6-2, 6-4, 6-0.
Here’s how Nadal has gotten here.
Rafael Nadal’s Australian Open Run in Review
There were questions about Nadal’s health coming into the 2019 Australian Open. He missed portions of the 2018 season due to a knee injury and withdrew from Brisbane earlier this month to focus on his health. It was unclear how far the Spaniard could go in Melbourne.
In typical Nadal fashion, he has quelled these doubts. He has won all of the 18 sets he has played so far. He has soundly defeated young rising stars like Alex De Minaur, Frances Tiafoe, and Tsitsipas. In short, Nadal’s red-hot form has made him the man to beat in Melbourne.
Nadal’s Australian Open Final Outlook
Rafael Nadal’s Australian Open run will continue when he takes on either ATP No. 1 Novak Djokovic or Frenchman Lucas Pouille in the final. Their semifinal will take place in Rod Laver Arena in the early morning of Friday, January 25 (Eastern Time; Friday night in Melbourne).
A novel could be written about the history Nadal and Djokovic already share with each other. They have met on the tennis court 52 times, with Djokovic owning a 27-25 record over Nadal.
The pair owns the record for the longest Grand Slam final in the open era. In 2012, the two battled it out for nearly six hours for the Australian Open title. If Djokovic wins his semifinal, tennis fans will be eager to see if history repeats itself in another gripping matchup.
Despite Djokovic’s success at the Australian Open, it would be unwise to disregard Lucas Pouille’s recent form. With new coach Amelie Mauresmo, Pouille has strung together upset wins over Borna Coric and Milos Roanic.
Nadal owns a 2-1 record over Lucas Pouille. Their most recent meeting was in 2017 in Beijing, where Nadal won in three sets. Nadal and Pouille’s only meeting at a Grand Slam came at the US Open in 2016. Lucas Pouille won that contest in a thrilling fifth set tiebreak.
Regardless of who wins the second men’s semifinal, the winner will have an enormous task on their hands by trying to stop Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard has shown vintage aggression and precision. He will be determined to leave Melbourne with his second Australian Open title.
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