On Thursday, Rafael Nadal handed rising star Stefanos Tsitsipas a tennis lesson as he drubbed him 6-2, 6-4, 6-0 in the Australian Open semi-final. Greek 14th seed Tsitsipas had enjoyed a fairytale run to his first Grand Slam last four, including a win over Roger Federer, but found Nadal in ruthless form as he won in 1hr 46min.
The Spanish second seed has not dropped his serve for an astonishing 63 straight games and has not lost a set on his way to the final, where he will face either Novak Djokovic or Lucas Pouille. Nadal commented on after a breathtaking display of almost perfect tennis that "It's been a great match, a great tournament," he further added "I think I have played very well every day. After a lot of months without playing is probably this court, this crowd it gives me that unbelievable energy."
The 20-year-old Tsitsipas had been hailed as a new Greek god of tennis after beating Federer, but his ascent to the summit of his personal Olympus was comprehensively halted by the colossus called Nadal. Nadal's win put him into his fifth Australian Open final and keeps him on course to become the first man to win all four Grand Slams twice in the Open era if he can add to his sole Melbourne Park crown in 2009. Tsitsipas, in just his second Australian Open and seventh appearance at a Grand Slam, was looking to become the first Greek player -- man or woman -- to reach a final in a major.
Nadal, who shattered the dreams of two other NextGen stars 19-year-old Alex de Minaur and 21-year-old Frances Tiafoe by jumping all over their serves early, made another immediate statement. At 1-1 a rasping double-handed backhand and a forehand winner gave him a first break point which the Spaniard duly converted.