WATCH: Rafael Nadal Fires a Lightning Backhand Winner to Stefanos Tsitsipas at Australian Open 2021

Published 02/17/2021, 5:12 AM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his second round match against Michael Mmoh of the U.S. REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake


World No. 2 Rafael Nadal took on Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarterfinal of the Australian Open 2021 today. The two of them have played on seven occasions prior to today’s game, with the Spaniard emerging victorious six times. After 54 minutes into the match, Nadal took a one-set lead and broke the Greek early in the second set. 

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In the first set of the match, the Greek star’s 12 unforced errors gave the Spaniard the advantage in the set. In the end, it was the one break that Nadal got in the eighth game that helped him serve for the opening set. Rafa hit seven winners past his opponent during the set.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 17, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his quarter final match against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Jaimi Joy

Rafael Nadal sends a blistering backhand cross-court winner across Tsitsipas

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During the opening set, there was a moment when Rafa hit a lightning-speed backhand cross-court winner across Tsitsipas that helped him claim the first set. To make this happen, Rafa stood far from the baseline and took the ball on the rise. While executing the shot, he flattened it in such a manner that it landed inside the service box, leaving Stefanos staring as the ball went past him. 

After four games in the second set, the Spaniard was in tremendous form, registering 10 winners over Tsitsipas. Nadal was clearly feeling at his best. To be able to execute such a high level of gameplay at such a crucial point in the tournament is the best thing to happen to a player. 

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 17, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his quarter final match against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Jaimi Joy

If Nadal wins this match, he will take on Russian tennis player and the new World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev in the semifinal of the Australian Open 2021 on Friday. 

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Last season, Rafa lost in the quarterfinal of the Australian Open. The Spaniard has won the Australian Open once in his career, back in 2009 when he beat Roger Federer in an epic final. 

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Rohan Kollare

575 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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