Tsitsipas Tstuns Federer At Australian Open; Nadal Rolls, Tiafoe Pulls Upset Again
by Staff | January 20th, 2019, 8:41 am
  • 27 Comments

Rafael Nadal rolled into his 11th Australian Open quarterfinal, beating longtime foe Tomas Berdych 6-0, 6-1, 7-6 in fourth round play on Monday. Nadal, who now leads the Czech 20-4, had to save a set point serving 5-6 in the third, but otherwise was in command.

He had one of these days where he wasn’t on his game,” Nadal said.

In three matches Nadal has yet to drop a set whereas his next opponent has been working overtime, and that’s Frances Tiafoe.

Celebrating his 21st birthday, Tiafoe won the bigger points in a tight 7-5, 7-6(6), 6-7(1), 7-5 to advance to his first career Slam quarterfinal.

“This is crazy,” Tiafoe said. “My phone is blowing up. I can barely use it.

“It’s just what you dream about. I told my coach, Zack Evenden, my agent, Alex, 2019 I’m going to pop off. No reason why I can’t do these things. I didn’t think it was going to happen right away. This is unbelievable.”

Dimitrov finished blowing a ton of opportunities – he was just 3/18 on break chances – while Tiafoe took advantage of a very strong net game.

After exhausting wins over Andreas Seppi and today Dimitrov, Tiafoe will have to face a fresh Nadal on Tuesday in his first meeting with the Spaniard.

“I’m so excited to play Rafa,” the American added. “We’re going to have some fun, going to have some long rallies. I hope I can play on Laver. That would be cool. I guess all the matches are on Laver now, right?”

Right Tiafoe is.

Speaking of long match, Roberto Bautista Agut and Marin Cilic also went the distance. The two marathon men fittingly played to a fifth with the Bautista Agut coming through 6-7(6), 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 in 3 hours, 58 minutes.

“It was a great tournament,” Bautista Agut said. “I’ve been playing very good tennis. I won a really good matches. I had to fight so hard to stay very focus. It’s been a great month for me and for my tennis.”

The win put Bautista Agut into his first career Grand Slam quarterfinal after nine previous failed attempts.

Menawhile, Roger Federer was stunned in the upset of the event so far, falling to Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-7 (11), 7-6 (3), 7-5, 7-6 (5) in 3 hours, 45 minutes.

The two who had never met in an official match, picked right where they left off in a Hopman Exo match where they played two, break-free tiebreak sets. And it was the same this evening. Except Tstipas was undaunted and shook off two break points and a time violation in the opening game.

Federer managed to grab the opening set in a break, then failed on 8 break chances in the second, which let the 20-year-old back in the match.

Federer again had chances in the third, but the forehand continued to misfire while Tsitsipas came up with the goods time and time again, especially at the net.

In the fourth, it was another breaker and one Federer, 17 years older than his foe, could not convert.

“I’m the happiest man on earth right now,” said Tsitsipas.

“Roger is a legend of our sport, so much respect for him. He showed such good tennis over the years. I’ve been analysing him since the age of six, and it was a dream come true for me just being on Rod Laver Arena facing him. Winning at the end, I cannot describe it.”

Federer has now failed to make the semifinals at the last four Grand Slams. He finished 0/12 on break chances and committed 41 unforced errors off the forehand.

“I have massive regrets tonight,” Federer said.

“I felt like I have to win the second set,” he said “I don’t care how I do it, but I have to do it. Cost me the game tonight.

“There are always multiple factors that play into a match like this. But it definitely didn’t go the way I was hoping on the break points. I also didn’t break him at the Hopman Cup, so clearly something is wrong how I return him, what I’m trying to do. He’s doing a good job to defend them.

“I lost to a better player who was playing very well tonight – hung in there, gave himself chances at some point, stayed calm. It’s not always easy, especially for younger guys. Credit to him for taking care of that.”

On Monday, Novak Djokovic returns to take on youngester Daniil Medvedev. Kei Nishikori tries to keep his roll going against former US Open semifinalist Pablo Carreno Busta and Alexander Zverev bids for his second Slam quarterfinal against former Australian Open semifinalist Milos Raonic.


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27 Comments for Tsitsipas Tstuns Federer At Australian Open; Nadal Rolls, Tiafoe Pulls Upset Again

Wog Boy Says:

Rafa all the way, he tricked everyone into believing that he is not ready after pulling out of Abu Dhabi play off and Brisbane, he is as fit as a fiddle.
Nole is his worst enemy, instead of concentrating on AO he is fighting Kermode and reporters, he can’t help himself, can he?!
Medvedev is a very nice and likeable dude.


RZ Says:

Good tournament so far for the young guns. I can’t see Tiafoe, who seems very fatigued after some long matches, winning against Rafa. Tsitsipas vs RBA should be a good match. Nice to see RBA have a good run here after his start to the year (and possibly sending Andy into retirement)


Van Persie Says:

yes, looks like we could have a Nole Rafa final.was finally able to watch matches today and Rafa looked scarry good.


skeezer Says:

Fed announced he will play FO this year. Reason? “I’m in a phase where I want to have fun…”

Read more at:
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/67612423.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

Which tells me this is probably his last year. Playing for fun? I guess at his age, he can.;)

Anyways, congrats to the young gun, Tsitsipas, his foot speed is super. It would be nice to see him become a top tier player.


RZ Says:

Skeezer – My guess is that Fed is more likely targeting 2020 as the year to retire so that he can play one more Olympics


skeezer Says:

BTW on Andy M, kinda late in the topic, sorry about that, but a sad day when he leaves. Have first hand experience in hip replacements ( if that is where he is headed ). Have a friend who was able to play tennis after recovery, so it can be done, but don’t know at a professional level. So all the best to him and his fans. I will never forget seeing him live winning his first tournament in San Jose, Ca, beating a still vibrant but aging Agassi along the way. Hope he can play Wimbledon and they give him the trophy, even if he doesn’t win or play. He deserves it.

@RZ
Yeah. Maybe?


Madmax Says:

Skeezer,

Yup. Read that. I actually agree with RZ,

I think it will be 2020 for Fed. Probably for the records of being the only tennis player to span 5 olympic games. To win a medal at those games is not even on the scale, one would think.

A wonderful press conference from Federer too. Under pressure, but he seemed totally relaxed and open to the fact that this was not his day, accepted it, congratulated his opponent, said he sees him as a top player and then moved on.

Fed is disappointed with himself but in a good place.


chrisford1 Says:

Agree with VP. So far, Rafa is the most focused and is playing the best tennis of anyone there, which translates to Rafa being scary good or in his beast mode. Novak beware. Rafa wants that double career Grand Slam.
Young guns on the left, Rafa on the right, Novak stuck in the middle with reporters wanting Player Council politics to be his focus.


Daniel Says:

If indeed we have a Djoko x Rafa final, history in the making, again. One will play for double career Slam and the other for a record 7 AO (amateur and Open era).

Also that match will have huge implications in GOAthodd for both of them.
Nadal closing in on Fed’s 20 with 18 and RG where he will be forte for 19th.

Djoko can “nullify” Nadal, wins #15 and be 2 shy of him, with RG and 2nd Djoko Slam in mind. Hope we got this match, but no 6 hours match. 3 to 4 will be fine.


Nitesh Says:

I would say don’t count Zverev out yet may be this is the breakthrough slam for the younger lot.


Wog Boy Says:

In an interview prior Greek/Russian dude sent him packing the 37 year old was very happy with the speed of the court and what they have done with the courts at AO in the last couple of years but wasn’t happy with new Dunlop balls made in Japan that are introduced this year and will be used on most ATP tournaments. According to him they didn’t play the same during day and night, one couldn’t outspin (whatever he meant with that) the other player, he preferred to play day matches with the way balls play.


chrisford1 Says:

Dabiel, a Djokovic-Nadal Final, besides those other big records goals have more records at stake should one make it there and win.

Djokovic would then have 15 Slam titles, move past Pete Sampras into unchallenged 3rd place behind Rafa and Fed. 2 needed to equal Rafa, one short of another non-calendar year Grand Slam. Which would add to the French Open interest and stakes.

Nadal wins the AO, he has improved prospects to overtake Djokovic as #1 by late summer, end of the year.

Federer and Djokovic are the only two players to exceed 300 Slam matches, Fed poised to exceed 400 at the French Open, an impossible record to beat, IMO. Rafa is likely to reach 300 late this year, early next year.

And now that Andy’s career is done, his awesome stats emerge:

And those stats show that in the Open Era, why it was a Big 4 not a Big 3, Sir Andrew Murray is in the Top 10 in all career Slam Achievements save titles. 8th in matches played and won. 7th in Quarterfinals achieved. 8th in Semis made. 9th in Slam Finals played. 8th in Open Era Slam match winning percent. Add that to his being the #1 Player for 41 weeks, 2 gold medals, winning all 3 Davis Cup Finals matches for Britain (one with his brother), 9th in the Open Era with 14 Masters/Grand Prix 1000 titles. 6th in total hardcourt titles in the Open Era. A shared 5th in grass titles.

A case can be made, if you get away from simplistic Slam Count as the only metric looked at, that Andy Murray is in the Top dozen, perhaps Top 10 players of the Open Era.

“He was a great. Honor him. Who will join me in carrying his body off court?”


chrisford1 Says:

WOG – It seems Russians, once they move to other countries, have many stars in tennis. Just scratching the surface – Sharapova SoCal American not to be caught dead living in Russia again who retains her Russian citizenship. Zverev family. Tsitsipas Russian Greek. Shapalov Jewish-Russian with Canadian and Israeli citizenship. Karen Khachanov – moved out of Russia as a teen to live in Croatia, then Spain, now Dubai.


Wog Boy Says:

CF1, just one correction, though Shapovalov was born in Israel and has their citizenship, he is basically ethnically and religiously Russian not Jew, I have never seen any of my Jewish friends wearing cross, Shapovalov wears Russian Orthodox cross, fairly big one around his neck.
Keep in your mind that thousands of people from former SSSR used Israel as a back door to migrate to America, Canada and Australia, it was enough to some grandparent with Jewish connection and Israel would give them papers, after certain period they would be on the move to the west, they are as much Jewish as I am. That’s what Shapovalov family did, though his mother is of Jewish decent.

Tsitsipas mother is former Russian player, father is trained coach (rich Greek;) and it looks like they have good tennis product, time will tell. Looking at the stats, haven’t seen the mach, you can’t beat good player with 0/12 conversion of BP and load of UE, what I was told it was shanking day, particulary on FH side.


Wog Boy Says:

Talking about shanking, it’s not surprising 37 years old wasn’t overly happy with Dunlop balls (apparently heavier and going dead after bounce) instead of until this year Wilson balls, lighter and faster, plus Wilson is your sponsor..
Rafa was pretty diplomatic when asked about the balls, he said the pley differently than old Wilson ones.


Daniel Says:

Agree ref Zverev. Should him and Coric win, there will be four 22 or under in last 8m. Don’t even know last time this happen. And if Medvedev beats Novak (what I don’t think will happen, there will be 5 and a potential semis with all 4 layers 22 or under. Nadal, Nishikori and Djoko still have something to say about that.

But even so, the change of guard is coming.


j-kath Says:

Can’t remember which month 2020 Olympics will take place – wonder how close it might be to Wimbledon? Anyways, I agree with posters who believe the Fed. will wish to have his Olympic swan-song in 2020 – and likely swansong for Singles Tennis overall. He will be missed.

“Sitsip” has been my favourite of the Young group and I look forward to seeing him confidently rise to a Slam contender before any of his age-group e.g. before Sasha etc. (wonder what Lendl is thinking about Sasha’s very thorough racquet smashing episode)?

Thanks to Chris Ford for listing Andy’s successful career which is rarely recognised.


Daniel Says:

Kei up a break in fifth set, comeback in the making.

Djoko had 1st set in control, than let it loose only to broke to close in the end. They are playing a lot of long rallies. Hope he finishes in 3.


Daniel Says:

the 40 shot rally drain Medveded, got broken and had nothing left next game. Djoko 4-1 totally in control now.


Daniel Says:

Novak playing with fire. Broken again when leading in set 2.


Wog Boy Says:

This match is deja vu of Simon match few years back, difference is that Nole is not winning this one,congratulations Medvedev, time for bed.


Daniel Says:

Djoko 3-1 4th set. I think now is safe to say he will close it out. Losing a set here and there is expected.

Nishikori next who Novak plays easy last matches. Than Raonic or Pouille. Its a good draw before finals. Raonic is dangerous but he will need to serve the match of his life to face Novak’s return, specially night match who plays a bit slower than day match, hence today many rallies.

I think Djoko is in finals, and once there 6-0, in AO he is unplayable. Nishikori may win a set, but his serve is to attackable for Novak not to take his chances.

Djoko #7 coming soon and #15 to add extra pressure for RG and hide his momentum. This time, he won’t have the relief I finally did effect as 2016, this time he will be eager for more.


Van Persie Says:

Phew!
Did not like Nole’s body language, but he has such meltdowns in the early rounds.
That was a good test


Daniel Says:

If there is a time Nadal is most vulnerable in a Slam is in AO QF. Tiafoe has a chance of upset if he recovers well, which he should with his age.

Statistically Nadal lost 5 times in AO QFs contrary to all other Slams where he only lost 1 time each in QF, and this is the most he had lost in any round (the closer is 3 times in other rounds, including AO finals):
– Cilic 18′
– Berdych 15′
– Ferrer 11′
– Murray 10′
– Gonzalez 07′

His form is there and he should prevail on paper. Let’s see if he breaks this jinx.


Daniel Says:

Djoko is 15-2 against Kei, having won last 13 with the last loss coming in USO 14′ semis. Also, he beat Kei in his last 2 Slams wins in Wimby and USO 18′, so this seems another good omen for him this year.

And he have never lost to Raonic in 9 meetings, never played Pouille (buit let´s facxe, he is kind of oportunist to be there with a good draw).

Meaning, Djoko is in finals already. The question is if we’ll have a Djoko x Nadal showdown, specially after that close Wimby encounter last summer?


Andy Mira Says:

Daniel….Insyaallah,Rafa will prevail tomorrow….Let’s hope nothing happen to him this year….Vamos Rafa!!


Daniel Says:

Indeed AM, Nadal already had his share of injuries in AO matches. Hope no drama this year apart from competive matches as Kei x PCB. Altough that one endend with some drama.

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