Stefanos Tsitsipas recalls epic comeback win over Rafael Nadal: Played with my soul

Tsitsipas created an epic comeback against Nadal in the 2021 Australian Open quarterfinal.

Stefanos Tsitsipas recalls epic comeback win over Rafael Nadal: Played with my soul

Stefanos Tsitsipas admits he worked on becoming patient as developing that skill played a big part in his impressive comeback win over Rafael Nadal at the 2021 Australian Open.

At the Australian Open in 2019, Tsitsipas reached his first Grand Slam semifinal.

There, Tsitsipas didn't stand much of a chance against Nadal as the Spaniard claimed a routine 6-2 6-4 6-0 win.

Two years later, Tsitsipas and Nadal clashed again at Melbourne Park.

Again, Nadal started the match well and had a two-set lead over Tsitsipas. 

But this time, Tsitsipas didn't lose easily as the Greek created a stunning comeback to beat Nadal 3-6 2-6 7-6 (4) 6-4 7-5 in their quarterfinal meeting. 

Tsitsipas on how developing patiency helped him beat Nadal 

"There were two times when I found myself in the same situation with the same opponent, but [it was] a different Stefanos each time. The first time I faced Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open in the semi-finals [in 2019], I was really impatient. I remember thinking, 'OK, I’m playing against one of the best. I really need to prove myself with big shots and go for it.' Two years later, I faced him again at the same tournament, this time in the quarter-finals. After going two sets down, I understood what I was doing wrong. I remember coming to an agreement with myself, saying, 'OK, you’re going to become patient. You’re going to wait. You’re going to spend every single minute on the court enjoying the play and just make it a fun game.' It turned out to be one of the best comebacks in my career so far," Tsitsipas told The Red Bulletin. 

In the same interview, Tsitsipas said: "It was excruciating, physically and mentally – I don’t think I’ve ever played at such high focus levels for so long. Everything felt like it made sense. It’s like a drug when you’re able to experience it – it brings you to another level. You’re not playing with your skill any more, you’re playing with your soul."

In January, Tsitsipas will be aiming to win his first Grand Slam at the Australian Open.