World No.2 Rafael Nadal suffered an agonizing loss in the quarterfinals of the 2021 Australian Open. Despite being two sets to love up, Nadal squandered the enormous advantage and lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas in an epic five-set thriller.
Entering the match without dropping a set during the tournament, Nadal looked on the course to another straights sets victory. However, after a nervous start, Tsitsipas started serving incredibly from the third set and his powerful groundstrokes from the baseline made it tougher for Nadal to return.
Rafael Nadal accepts defeat as another lost opportunity
Notably, it is only the second time Nadal has lost a match after winning the opening two sets. During the post-match conference, Nadal talked about having played with the right intensity but admitted it wasn’t enough to get him past the finish line in the quarterfinals.
“I tried my best in every single moment. With the right attitude. No complaining at all in no one moment, even in the tougher moments. Just trying to, I think I stayed positive all the time during the match, fighting. And was not enough. Sometimes it’s enough. Today was not enough,” said Nadal.
Knowing he lost a tremendous opportunity to be in the semifinals, Nadal acknowledged the match as yet another loss he suffered at the Australian Open despite having an advantage.
Nadal was aiming to become the first man in the Open Era to win each Grand Slam twice, however, he must now wait for another year to restart that quest.
“And that’s it. Just another story in my tennis career. That’s it. No, another match I lost here in Australia with important advantage, and just accept and keep going. That’s the life,” added Nadal.
Over the last decade, Nadal has reached the Australian Open final four times but has lost on each occasion. Since winning his first and only title at Melbourne Park in 2009, the Australian Open trophy has remained elusive for Nadal.
And losing the quarterfinal after such a commanding lead makes it even more painful for Nadal, being fully aware of the limited chances he has to win another Australian Open title considering he is at the twilight of his career.