Tsitsipas Tshocks Nadal, Will Meet Djokovic For Madrid Masters Title
by Staff | May 11th, 2019, 10:25 pm

Stefanos Tsitsipas did it again, beating a big name on a big stage in a big match. Having never won a set before against Rafael Nadal (0-7), Tsitsipas had a shot against the Spaniard on his home soil and on his favorite surface. And he took it beating the 5-time tournament champion 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 to reach his biggest career clay final, second at the Masters level.

“It means the world. I’m really happy that I proved myself today. I played one of my best games this year,” Tsitsipas said. “I’m really happy that I’m fighting, I’m in the zone. I’m enjoying tennis at its fullest potential. It’s really nice to be able to play this way. Today’s victory is just an unbelievable feeling.”

Playing aggressive, going for forehands, whipping backhands and attacking at the net, Tsitsipas made it known early this wasn’t going to another romp for Nadal on the clay.

Rafa came in serving brilliantly and had just tuned Stan Wawrinka yesterday, but the Greek was a different beast.

Nadal looked good early, winning a couple of incredible rallies. Tsitsipas didn’t go away. The 20-year-old dug in breaking Rafa three times in the first set in front of a stunned pro-Rafa crowd.

Behind his serve and forehand, Rafa righted the ship in the second. But surprisingly, the momentum wouldn’t last.

Tsitsipas recharged and broke Rafa two more times in the third to build a 5-2 lead. Serving it out, he faltered but then inexplicably broke Rafa again for the win.

“The mental discipline and being tough and being decisive in all those crucial moments I think was the key,” Tsitsipas said. “I had to take all those opportunities. Rafa is a fighter. He doesn’t give you free points. You’ve got to fight and give your best on every single point.”

Nadal now goes to Rome without a clay title or any title on the year.

“I didn’t have a good feeling today to do the things I wanted to do and that’s all,” Nadal said. “I was clear what I had to do today, but tonight I wasn’t capable of doing it.

“We can try and find as many excuses, or ifs, or possibilities, or whys, but at the end, it’s a matter of playing good tennis and if you play at a good level, I think I would have been able to win today’s match,” Nadal added. “I wasn’t able to play as good as I wanted to play. So, the consequence is that I was not able to win the match.”

Tsitsipas, who now has wins over all of the Big 3 in Masters/Slams, will meet Novak Djokovic Sunday in the final.

Djokovic overcame break deficits in both sets to beat Dominic Thiem 7-6(2), 7-6(4) in a grinding 2 hours, 22 minutes.

“I played the best match of the clay-court season so far, for me, against arguably the best tennis player in the world on this surface, so far,” said Djokovic who failed to serve out the match at 6-5 in the second. “He had an amazing tournament in Barcelona and here he beat Roger yesterday in a thrilling match. So he was in form… I just managed to hold my nerves and play the best when it was most needed.”

Thiem had just beaten Roger Federer yesterday, but couldn’t consolidate either set lead.

“I never complain about 1000 semifinal. It’s a very good result,” said Thiem. “I beat three very good players and I lost to Djokovic… It was a very good tournament and now I will enjoy the doubles.”

Djokovic will seek his 33rd career Masters title (3rd in Madrid), Tsitsipas his first and fourth overall. Tsitsipas has now won his last eight matches going back to his Estoril title a week ago.

Tsitsipas won their only meeting last summer in Canada.

“He’s not an easy opponent to play against. He’s in form and a young player who is already Top 10,” said Djokovic. “Hopefully I can be at my best because that is what is going to be needed to win.”

Tsitsipas added, “I have to play the same way. I have to be mentally prepared for a tough match. He’s in a pretty good state of his tennis, so it won’t be easy. He had some good matches coming into the final, so I’m going to have to be ready for that match… I’m sure he wants the title as badly as me.”

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32 Comments for Tsitsipas Tshocks Nadal, Will Meet Djokovic For Madrid Masters Title

chrisford1 Says:

If someone more adept at Rafa think than I am could read this quote and make any sense out of it, I’d appreciate it.

“But while it is so unusual to see Nadal lacking his usual dominance on clay, he insists his current level is actually “more normal” than his past.

Nadal declared: “Not winning means that I’m not going back to my hotel happy.

“But I’m not going to win 15 Monte Carlos, this is the reality of the situation. I think that it’s more normal what is happening right now, than what happened in the last 14 years, let’s say. ”

The tennis Rafa had at 18 is normal, he is back to normal again after 14 straight not normal years???

Rome is going to be interesting.
Will we see normal Rafa, or abnormal Rafa?
And his upcoming wedding this fall is going to be getting in his head more and more.

Wog Boy Says:

If I am Rafa fan (I like him but I am not his fan), I wouldn’t be worried at all. I haven’t seen the match, but from what I heard from my friends today that have seen the match, who are big punters (horse racing), if Rafa was a jockey he would be suspended by stewards for not giving his horse all chances to win.
I can see some butthurt cult members (for all the pain Rafa inflicted on their God) are over the moon for his loss, hold your horses, Rafa is still tha favorite for Rome and Paris.
Rafa’s body language and interview after the loss tells us he couldn’t care less.
Message for those butthurt cult members, Rafa’s loss doesn’t compensate for 37 years old loss having to match points;)
Can you imagine if Nole lost too, you would be having a ball today, but Nole slayed dragon slayer..I think you will need a double dose of viagra tonight;)

Wog Boy Says:

“having two match points “

It hurts, doesn’t it?;)

Van Persie Says:

Rafa will be 33 yrs old soon, so it was kind of expected he would not give his best in all clay tournaments. Even if he does not win Rome, he can peak easily at the FO.
In best of 5 Rafa is still fave for the French.

Daniel Says:

Agree VP.

He can bomb Rome and even so on RG he is the player to beat. Unless Djoko wins Madrid today and Rome in confident fashion, than he will be the favorite.

Best of 5 is different and depend on draw there is just a hadfull of players than can maybe trouble Nadal in RG. Oh, and the weather in Paris has a big say also. Specially on Nadal’s mindset

Wog Boy Says:

All I can say for tonight match is that Nole is very unreliable players these day.

He was playing all his matches daytime, this is the first night match, conditions are very different in Madrid attitude daytime and night time, Tsitsipas played night matches, he is adjusted to playing conditions.
I’ll put my money on Tsitsipas.

fred stone Says:

Mock Boy is nothing but a tennis terrorist.

Van Persie Says:

Nole might not be in his best form yet, he might lack the experience of night matches in Madrid, but Stefan might be mentally tired from his matches against Zverev and Rafa.
Nole for the win, with Stefan likely to take a set though.

skeezer Says:

“Mock Boy”
Please don’t downplay the Worlds #1 …..Nole’s chances. HEAVILY favored and would be an obvious upset if Tsitsipas wins.

j-kath Says:

Van Persie: Talking about Rafa soon to be 33 reminds me that Novak and Andy will both be 32 sometime this month.

Van Persie Says:


Andy celebrates Bday this week and Nole next week. yep, both turning 32 :)

skeezer Says:

HEAVILY favored. And the starting score proves it. 3-0…..

j-kath Says:

Van Persie

Yep – and I’ve always wondered why Rafa is usually viewed as Roger’s peer when it comes to age when in fact there’s almost 5 years difference and only one year between Rafa and Andy/Novak.

Van Persie Says:

Djoko does not look that skinny anymore

Van Persie Says:

Good point JK, maybe because Rafa was a prodigy and he was a GS contender 2-3 years earlier than Andy and Nole. Rafa was the 1st serious rival for Roger, my pov. But Rafa is more Andy’s and Nole’s peer.

Van Persie Says:

Nole 3 times champ in Madrid 😎

Ronn Says:

Excellent result for my boy Djoko! He will be ready for the French for sure, and with Rafa looking vulnerable and having just beaten Thiem, I really like Djoko’s chances.

tes Says:

What a champ. He looks out of sorts and suddenly puts it all together against two of the hottest players on the tour.

Nole for the RG(if it is not Rafa ;))

j-kath Says:

Well done Novak… I do like your opponent, but I’m happy that the “senior” players demonstrate how the commitment to enabling themselves to win – and that goes for a number of them…is still at a level that needs to be met, irrespective of latent talent.

Wog Boy Says:

Not too bad, not too bad:)

I can see those two, the leader of the cult and his deputy, recognized themselves from the other thread.

Van Persie Says:

haha, no kiss for the trophy this time :)

Van Persie Says:

Nole, you praised Feli. please some words about the design of the trophy to Nea Tiri as well 😁

Wog Boy Says:

The trophy looks like it was obtained from adult shop.

Van Persie Says:


they changed it for the ladies. should be changed for ATP as well.

Van Persie Says:

Nole smiled with subtlety while looking at it :)

Van Persie Says:

^^ Nole coyld have said: This one goes to my wife 😁
ok. enough about it. bye bye

Wog Boy Says:

Apparently this was Nole’s 200 top 10 win. His h2h against top 10 players is 200 : 90, if the information is correct?
Does anybody have stats for the other two.

Wog Boy Says:


chrisford1 Says:

VP – “Nole 3 times champ in Madrid.”
As sick as it is, he has won all the Masters 1000s 3 times except Monte Carlo(2) and Cincinnati (1). He wins Cincinnati, he has a double sweep of all the big ATP-sponsored events inc the Championships.

And in Slams, obviously 1 French Open away from the 1st double career Slam (and getting a unique 2nd non-calendar year Slam in the Open Era)

And speaking of sick, maybe the Madrid trophy would be less intimidating if it was made of soft rubber. Definitely one of the top, if not the most, kinkiest trophy designs in pro sports.

EMIlia Says:


How can Nole kiss the trophy when it is like o porcupine?

chrisford1 Says:

A few observations:

1. Djokovic is tuning the Rafa killer, the backhand down the line, up. It was a Tsisipas killer in this match.
2. Tsispas has high tennis IQ. He was playing the angles as well as Federer and Djokovic did at his age. Great speed and not shy about closing at net.
3. Wife watched the Rafa match and said Tsisipas “looks like Matthew McConaughey”, “hot!”
4. Are we seeing a “New 4” beginning to form as the Big 4 begin to pass from the scene? Dominic Thiem, Felix Auger Aulissemme, Sasha Zverev, and Stefan Tsispas? Not that there isn’t other talent in the wings, but those 4 seem special. (And on top of Tsisipas, the other 3 are good looking and will not be hurt by that as fans and endorsements come their way.

Daniel Says:

Indeed VP, couldn’t watch the match today (mother’s day) but noticed other matches Djojo’s lega seems way more buffed and muscular. He looks stronger overal.

Great win and curious to see what he does in Rome. He is relatively fresh with QW wo and all straights set matches apart from Thiem match.

It would be great to have a Dioko x Nadal Rome final, Djoko’s final preparation for RG and second Nole Slam.

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