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Tsitsipas: Nadal Plays In Different Dimension


Stefanos Tsitsipas viewed his prior meetings with Rafael Nadal as educational experiences.

In their Australian Open rematch, Nadal schooled the NextGen star permitting just six games powering into his 25th Grand Slam final.

More: Nadal Schools Tsitsipas 

A dazed Tsitsipas said Nadal didn't just elevate his game—he took dynamic play to a different dimension.

"He did surprise me," said Tsitsipas, who earned only a single break point in the match's final game and won just six points on the Spaniard's first serve. "His serve, he's not the biggest server on tour, has a pretty average serve. But it's annoying that I didn't get close to break him at all.

"He's just very aggressive from the baseline. That's pretty much it. I mean, I don't know. I really can't think of something positive on that match. Probably the second set, which was the one that I got closer to. The rest, it kind of felt like in a way it wasn't tennis so much like the other matches that I played. It felt like a different dimension of tennis completely."




The 21-year-old Greek says Nadal is very good at making you play very bad.

"He gives you no rhythm," Tsitsipas said of Nadal. "He plays just a different game style than the rest of the players. He has this, I don't know, talent that no other player has. I've never seen a player have this. He makes you play bad. I don't know. I would call that a talent."

Nadal has turned this run to his fifth Australian Open final into a major master class dispensing vicious lessons to NextGen Stars Alex de Minaur, Frances Tiafoe and Tsitsipas.

Growing stronger with each match, a ruthless Nadal thrashed the NextGen allowing just 22 games in those three match victories.

A dazed and confused Tsitsipas described a major demolition at the hands of Nadal as disorientating if he'd just taken a trip to the tennis twilight zone. 

"The angles that he was using, my brain was used to a certain rhythm of the game with all the righty players that I played this week," Tsitsipas said. "Him, it felt like I was always, when he was playing, on the wrong foot.

"His game style has something that it kind of makes the other half of your brain work more than it usually does, let's say. I don't know. I'm trying to understand, but I cannot find an explanation for that."

Photo credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve

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