Nadal Finding Form At Australian Open, Tsitsipas Needs 5; Kyrgios v Thiem Tonight
by Staff | February 11th, 2021, 2:03 pm

Rafael Nadal’s ailing back is getting put in the rearview mirror. Last night in Melbourne, the 20-time Grand Slam champion looked good in a 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 win over American qualifier Michael Mmoh.

“I always try to be better. Sometimes better, sometimes not,” said Nadal about going from his first match to second. “I think tonight has been a positive evening for me, winning in straight sets. Great news, for everything.”

About the only issue for Nadal was an unruly fan who caused a stir late in the second set.

Nadal now meets fellow lefty Cameron Norrie of Great Britain.

“Won two good matches,” said Nadal. “Gonna be the toughest test, without a doubt. I need to be playing at high level if I want to keep having chances to be through. And I am looking forward to try to make that happen.”

Nadal’s potential quarterfinal opponent could be Stefanos Tsitsipas. The Greek star figured to have an easy afternoon after the oft-injured Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis. Instead, it turned into a 4-hour, 32-minute war on Rod Laver won by Tsitsipas 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-4.

“Great match towards the very end, and I fought like a lion,” said Tsitsipas who was just 5/22 on break points. “I fought like a real warrior out there, and it was an amazing ending with lots of emotion and great spirit.

“I think he has a huge forehand, very good serve,” he added. “All the potential is there. I really hope he stays injury-free, because it can be very frustrating. I have dealt with it, and I know it’s very difficult mentally to go through things like this. I just wish him good health and that he can compete an entire year without any pain or anything bothering him.”

The powerful Russian trio of Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov went 9-0 in sets. Medevedev celebrated his 25th birthday upping his win streak to 16 after a victory over Roberto Carballes Baena.

“I have the momentum and I feel like I can do a lot things,” said Medvedev. “I hope I can keep it up. So far it’s working and I hope it doesn’t stop. There’s no time to celebrate my birthday in a tournament. I got presents from my wife, but I’ll soon look to my next match.”

In the most interesting match of the day, the first all-Italian men’s match in the Open Era at the Australian Open turned into a thriller as Fabio Fognini outlasted Salvatore Caruso 4-6, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(12), saving a match point in the process.

The drama continued after the two met at the net with Fognini telling Caruso he was lucky on many of his shots. Caruso wasn’t please and the two continued jawing at each other long after the last point.

The third round starts on Friday in Melbourne with Novak Djokovic meeting his second straight American in Taylor Fritz. Denis Shapovalov and countryman Felix Auger-Aliassime resume their rivalry. Alexander Zverev and Grigor Dimitrov return and all eyes in the tennis world will be on Nick Kyrgios who is back on his home court John Cain Arena to meet Dominic Thiem.

Rod Laver Arena – 11:00 AM
SABALENKA, Aryna (BLR) [7] vs. LI, Ann (USA)
Not before: 1:00 PM
POTAPOVA, Anastasia (RUS) vs. WILLIAMS, Serena (USA) [10]
MANNARINO, Adrian (FRA) [32] vs. ZVEREV, Alexander (GER) [6]
7:00 PM
KUDERMETOVA, Veronika (RUS) [32] vs. HALEP, Simona (ROU) [2]
DJOKOVIC, Novak (SRB) [1] vs. FRITZ, Taylor (USA) [27]

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Rafael Nadal v Stefanos Tsitsipas In Australian Open SF #1, Who’s The Pick?
Thiem Tops Tsitsipas For Beijing Win
Kyrgios Opens With Miami Win; Murray, Korda, Brooksby Thurs.
Opelka Eliminates Kyrgios in Toronto; Medvedev, Tsitsipas, Isner Tuesday

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21 Comments for Nadal Finding Form At Australian Open, Tsitsipas Needs 5; Kyrgios v Thiem Tonight

jatin Says:

Loved the way Rafa handled the situation and all the curses from that woman. His reaction was priceless and his level of kindness towards fellow human beings is something we can all learn from.

He is playing amazing to say the least.

This is the most open Aus open I have seen in years. It seems like there are multiple contenders to win it all which include Djokovic, Rafa, Medvedev, Thiem and even Tsitsipas.

I am super excited to see Thiem vs Kyrgious tomorrow.. Would love to see Kyrgious pulling through the match and go very deep after his dramatic 5 set win.

Lets see how it goes

Wog Boy Says:

How disrespectful is to put world #3, last year AO finalist and current USO champion to play on John Cain Arena?!
Would they dare to do that with the other one if he was in Thiem place, you know which one, I am not going to name him?
I just hope that he is going to wipe the floor with bogan Nick in front of his adoring bogan family and fans.
Go Thiem.

Wog Boy Says:

If Karen only worded it differently (without “F” bomb) and if she hasn’t flipped the bird, I am sure majority of our “friends” on TX would agree with Karen and she wouldn’t be ejected, this is what she said before flipping the bird to Rafa:

‘Hurry up you OCD f**k!’

Wog Boy Says:

Breaking news, Chairman Dan just announced that Victoria is going back in full lockdown from midnight tonight until midnight Wednesday hopping to beat UK strain of viris that arrived in Melbourne.
That means, muzzles everywhere, indoor or outdoor, not allowed out of home except for must do shopping, 2 hours a day allowed out for exercise, but only 2 people, no work unless you work from home, no religious services are allowed, no weddings, 10 people for funeral.
They already were in four months lockdown before, so I guess they can put up with these extra five days if that is going to stop the virus, big if.
I am glad I live in NSW, we never had anything nowhere near what Victorian is haveving…but we have competent government from the difference of our south neighbours.

I guess that means no fans at AO for at least next 5 days, they surely can’t stop it now, but you never know with comrade Dan.

jatin Says:

If it would have any other match I would have 100% supported Dominic Thiem as he is one of my favorite player but I really want Kyrgious to reach his full potential as I am a fan of his game when he plays against Novak, Rafa and especially Roger and by seeing the start of the match it seems like Nick is really ON and DIALED in today.
Gonna be an incredible tough match for Thiem.
Hoping for a 5 set thriller. Super excited.

jatin Says:

Nick really is On FIRE…….. HE IS PLAYING OUT OF THIS WORLD…. What is happening

jatin Says:

That unnecessary tweener by kyrgious at game point to get up 5-4 may cost him the match now.
We are heading towards the 5th set now.

Wog Boy Says:

‘ Nick really is On FIRE’….and then Austrian turned out with fire extinguisher 😉

Wog Boy Says:

My man is struggling…

Wog Boy Says:

That’s it folks, you can’t really play GS match if you can’t hit the FH which Nole can’t, he is pulling out of every FH shot, just finish the match mate, that’ll do.

Anto Says:

What resilience from Djokovic. But what a mental midget this Frtiz is.

van orten Says:

And the Oscar goes to …

Dave Says:


How bad is Noles injury? I didn’t see the match. Will he recover 100%? He had no business struggling against Fritz. I figured something was up. Fritz is one of the slowest movers on the ATP tour. No matter how powerful his shot is, Nole feasts on players like these.

Wog Boy Says:

Dave, it doesn’t look good, he was comfortably 2 sets up when he has done the muscle, for the next two set he was avoiding FH or more precisely he couldn’t hit it and just was buying time hoping that pain will ease which happened in the fifth.
It’s around abdomen area, how he pulled this win is beyond me.
He, himself is not sure that will play Raonic in two days time and drunken fans were really horrendous, even commentators had to admit it.

Dave Says:

I just read his comments in the interview. If it is a muscle tear, I don’t see how he can win this year. He might be able to somehow get past Raonic. But there is no way he beats Zverev or Thiem. He can’t be hindered by this injury to beat top players, No way.

Wog Boy Says:

When you have a time have a look at 3rd and 4th set, he was hardly rotating his arm, mostly blocking the shots and redirecting them.
I can see that Taylor Fritz is sore loser.

Wog Boy Says:

According to Nole, ATP physio who treated him confirmed to Nole that he most likely has muscle tear.

skeezer Says:

Never was a fan of painted signs on the tennis court. WTF?

Dave Says:

I just saw the highlights. I can’t even believe he won the match. Some people don’t think that Nole has a good forehand. It’s his most underrated shot by far. And just look at what happens when he can’t use it. His whole game basically falls apart.

Dave Says:

After seeing what happened at the French Open, I felt Nadal was most likely going to finish with the most grand slams. And the only chance for Nole to break the record was to win in Australia. This was a must win. The young guys are coming up and Nole has to much ground to make up. I just can’t see it happening anymore. 99% chance Nadal finishes with the most slams now. Things change so fast in tennis. That US Open default was a huge turning point in tennis history. And injuries can come at any time for any player. If Nadal is 100% fir, he will win the French this year.

chrisford1 Says:

You may be right about Slamcount, Dave, but the metrics will change. At onetime, Slamcount mattered more because the 4 majors were the only ones that all players went to, paid the most. Then all the players started going to all the ATP 1000 events, the Olympics, the ATP Championships if invited.
And besides crediting those events more when determining a player’s career success, you have to factor in degree of competition.
At some point, and shame about Djokovic’s muscle tear injury, the level of competition has risen enough that Djokovic and Nadal have to be on their A game and healthy to beat several of the younger guys, and even that is no longer a guarantee. I think the day when Fed or Andy or Stan will win a Slam has already passed. And one day it will pass for Novak and Rafa, and fans will only know in retrospect when they stop becoming likely Slam winners.

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