Australian Open: Rafael Nadal hands ruthless beatdown on Stefanos Tsitsipas to reach final
Rafael Nadal reacts to reaching another Australian Open final (Icon Sportswire/Getty Images)

Australian Open: Rafael Nadal hands ruthless beatdown on Stefanos Tsitsipas to reach final

The Spaniard dropped six games only to move him one win away from a Double Career Grand Slam.

notfirstnoel
Noel John Alberto

Throughout the tournament, Rafael Nadal has been dubbed the "NextGen Killer". No he didn't say anything negative about them to put them down, but he did provide some heavy beatdowns to crowd favorite Alex De Minaur and first-time major quarterfinalist Frances Tiafoe.

With the fearless Stefanos Tsitsipas across from him at the net, many were expecting a long battle to be in store with the Greek oozing confidence more and more after defeating Roger Federer and backing that up against Roberto Bautista Agut.

What happened next was a shock that not even Tsitsipas was ready for. Nadal cruised to a 6-2, 6-4, 6-0 victory and will face either Novak Djokovic or Lucas Pouille in the Australian Open final.

Fast Start

Nadal hadn't dropped serve since getting broken in the third set against James Duckworth, meaning Tsitsipas would have to work hard just to break serve. The Spaniard was pushing the 14th-seeded Greek and broke quickly after forcing an error off the Tsitsipas backhand. 

From 40-0 up in the seventh game, Tsitsipas gave Nadal just the slightest opening and the 17-time Grand Slam champion took full advantage of that opening, breaking after the Greek overran Nadal's drop shot. A brutally efficient Nadal closed out the first set 6-2 in only 32 minutes.

Tsitsipas started better in the second set but fell behind 0-30 as he was victim to the classic Nadal banana shot and by missing a jumping backhand. Triple break points were saved by the Greek for 3-2 but soon found himself behind after Nadal's return was low and volleyed the return into the net. Two sets ahead and with how he was playing, it looked like there was no way back for Tsitsipas.

Tsitsipas had no answer to Nadal's game (Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Tsitsipas had no answer to Nadal's game (Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Brutally Efficient

Everything Tsitsipas threw at Nadal was being crushed. A backhand winner opened the third set with a break, and the Greek was beginning to many careless mistakes, falling behind 4-0. The spirit of Tsitsipas looked like it was gone. 5-0 down he managed to get a break point after Nadal dumped two volleys into the net. The world number two remained perfect on serve since round one, closing out the match. 

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