Stefanos Tsitsipas says he "understands Nadal's game more" ahead of Australian Open semifinal
Tsitsipas also lost to Nadal in the final of the Barcelona Open last year (Image source: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Stefanos Tsitsipas says he "understands Nadal's game more" ahead of Australian Open semifinal

The Greek lost to Nadal in two finals last year but says the experience has sharpened his focus.

craigvickers
Craig Vickers

Stefanos Tsitsipas says he "understands Rafael Nadal's game a bit more" after his defeat to the Spaniard in the final of the Rogers Cup last year ahead of their semifinal clash at the Australian Open.

The Greek defeated Roberto Bautista-Agut, 7-5, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(2), to seal his place in the last four of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career, while Nadal made light work of Frances Tiafoe, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2, later in the day.

Tsitsipas says he made a promise with himself after defeat to the Spaniard in Toronto.

'I feel like I can do something against him'

He told the media: "I came very close to beating him in Toronto, even though the score was 6-2, 7-6.

"I remember coming back to the locker room and promising to myself that I'm going to do much better against him next time.

"It felt like I understood a bit better what he was doing on the court in that match, especially on hard court.

"I feel alright with my game and I feel like I can do something good against him."

Tsitsipas has come through five four-set matches en route to the semifinal - most memorably against Roger Federer in the fourth round - and says he has been taken aback by the level of his performances in Melbourne.

Tsitsipas says his next goal is to crack the top 10 of the ATP rankings (Image source: Jack Thomas/Getty Images AsiaPac)
Tsitsipas says his next goal is to crack the top 10 of the ATP rankings (Image source: Jack Thomas/Getty Images AsiaPac)

'The difference in the end...'

He adds: "I have surprised myself a little bit with my performances.

"You have this picture in your head of what your opponents going to do when he comes out, extraordinary things, but then when you step onto court it's completely different.

"What I've realised recently is that your opponent feels exactly the same as you feel.

"The difference in the end is who's going to press more, and be more aggressive than the other."

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