Stefanos Tsitsipas described his stunning 2021 Australian Open win over Rafael Nadal as “truly an unbelievable comeback” as he noted that his win required an incredible amount of effort and concentration. In the 2021 Australian Open quarterfinal, Tsitsipas appeared to be heading toward a straight-set defeat.
Then, Tsitsipas impressively turned around the match and claimed a 3-6 2-6 7-6 (4) 6-4 7-5 upset win over Nadal. “I came back from two-sets-to-love down and had to put in an incredible amount of effort and concentration to make it happen.
And it was truly an unbelievable comeback. I’ve never had such a comeback in my career,” Tsitsipas said in a video for the Australian Open.
How Tsitsipas came back to beat Nadal
Nadal earned the first break of the match in the eighth game to open a 5-3 lead, before serving out for the first set in the following game.
After winning the first set, Nadal broke Tsitsipas in the first and fifth games of the second set to open a comfortable two-set lead. Down by two sets, Tsitsipas improved his serving in the third set as he managed to force a tie-break after not giving Nadal a single break point in the set.
The key moment of the third-set tie-break was Tsitsipas winning three points in a row to take a 6-3 lead. Nadal saved the first set point but Tsitsipas realized his second set point to send the match into a fourth set. After winning the third set, Tsitsipas missed out on early break points in the first and fifth games of the fourth set.
However, Tsitsipas kept pressing Nadal and he eventually broke the Spaniard in the ninth game to open a 5-4 lead in the fourth set. Tsitsipas then routinely served out for the fourth set in the 10th game. In the fifth set, no break points were seen until the 11th game, when Tsitsipas broke Nadal to take a 6-5 lead.
In the 12th game, Tsitsipas missed out on two match points before Nadal earned his first break point of the set. However, Tsitsipas was able to save that break point and then realize his third match point to complete an epic comeback win against Nadal.