Novak Djokovic

Rafael Nadal Is Out of the Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia — Rafael Nadal’s bid for a record 21st Grand Slam men’s singles title ended Wednesday night when he lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in the quarterfinals at the Australian Open .

Tsitsipas dropped the first two sets but came back to defeat Nadal, the second-ranked player in the world, 3-6, 2-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4, 7-5, in a grueling, four-hour duel for the biggest Grand Slam win of his career.

Playing on fresh legs after winning his fourth-round match in a walkover, Tsitsipas became increasingly stingy on his serve, refusing to give Nadal a chance to seize an advantage and forcing him into sloppy errors as he grew more fatigued.

“Moments like this haven’t happened a lot in my career,” said Tsitsipas, who also won the ATP Tour finals in 2019 and knocked off Roger Federer on this same court two years ago.

Nadal was not the favorite in this tournament, which he has won just once, in 2009, though he has come close on other occasions, most notably in 2012, when he lost in five sets to Novak Djokovic in a match that last a record five hours, 53 minutes.

The tournament is contested on fast hardcourts, which challenge Nadal far more than the slow red clay in Paris or the softer grass at Wimbledon, which inflicts less wear and tear on his body.

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