Austria’s Dominic Thiem stunned Rafael Nadal on Wednesday to send the world number one packing from the Australian Open. Fifth seed Thiem, who was beaten by Nadal in the last two French Open finals, will face Alexander Zverev in the semi-final. Also Read - Not CR7 or Lionel Messi, Rafael Nadal's Favourite Footballer is Brazil Legend Ronaldo
Thiem battled past the Spaniard 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 7-6 (8/6) to deny him a crack at a record-equalling 20th Grand Slam title at the Rod Laver Arena. Also Read - Australian Open 2021 Delayed Due to COVID-19, Set to Begin From February 8 in Melbourne: ATP
Going into the match, Nadal was the overwhelming favourite, but Thiem held his serves in the tie-break to edge out the World No. 1 in front of a full house arena. Also Read - ATP Finals 2020: Daniil Medvedev Beats Dominic Thiem in Three Sets to Win Title
The 26-year-old from Austria won the first two sets in the tie-break against Nadal. In the third set, Nadal bounced back with a break to take the third set 6-4. In the fourth set, Nadal came close to forcing a fifth set, breaking Thiem’s serve at 5-4 as the Austrian double-faulted and made three unforced forehand errors.
Unfortunately, that did not happen as Thiem won the game and forced another tiebreak which he eventually won and sealed his spot in the semis. The match lasted four hours and 11 minutes.
There was not a lot to choose between the two players, but the German won all the three tiebreaks and that made all the difference.
In the other semis, Novak Djokovic will take on Roger Federer.
Earlier, in the fourth round, Thiem defeated No.10 seed Gael Monfils in straight sets 6-2, 6-4, 6-4.
After the win, Thiem said on Zverev, “Cannot wait to be back on Friday for the semis. This is the first time we will be playing a Grand Slam semi-finals among all the players. We have played twice against each other at the French Open, so we know each others game. We have been great friends, but we both got to try our best.”