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1 Response to ao21tsitsipas_nadal

  1. Voo de Mar says:
    Serve & volley: Tsitsipas 0/1, Nadal 2/2

    Points won by each set: | 22-26, 17-25, 32-31, 37-30, 37-30 |
    Points won directly behind the serve:
    33 % Tsitsipas – 46 of 136… 33 % Nadal – 50 of 151
    Winners by percentage:
    33 % Tsitsipas – 49 of 145… 40 % Nadal – 57 of 142

    # It happens very rarely that a player wins a 5-setter being within a few points to lose the match in three consecutive sets. It happened in the contest of the icon of two first decades of the 21st Century, and (potentially) one of the best players of this decade (the 20s). Therefore it’s a pity the match was played without spectators (4th round & quarterfinals during a lockdown in Melbourne, due to Covid-19). On the other hand with the crowd involvement the outcome could be different… Nadal was 4, 5 and 3 points away to close the match out in consecutive sets:
    – 3rd set: there was 3-all in the 7/4 tie-break
    – 4th set: he led 4:3* (15/0) and had three game points to lead 5:4
    – 5th set: he led 5:4* (15-all)
    In the last game of the match, having saved two match points in impressive style, Nadal [2] created a break point, but the Greek withstood it with a service winner out-wide. Tsitsipas [6] was much fresher in the decider, a game to level at 3-all he won in 52 seconds striking 4 aces. Nadal took the first two sets with surprising ease in terms of the score, but there was 3-all in the opener, 0/30 on his serve, and Tsitsipas also led 30/0 and 30/15 in the two following games. After the opener, Nadal took a six-minute toilet break and perhaps it somehow made an impact on Tsitsipas’ poor display in the 2nd set. Before the match, “win predictor” indicated 72% vs 28% in Nadal’s favour, and it was almost a very good prediction because in the crucial tie-break Nadal made two overhead errors while he rarely makes any. Especially the first one was painful because at 1:0 he was standing close to the net (at 3:4 he missed his overhead from the baseline). Prior to that unfortunate tie-break, he had won 35 straight sets at majors!

    # Australia Open matches when the winner was close (at least two games) to lose the match in three successive sets:
    1979: Ulrich Marten d. Cliff Letcher 4-6, 1-6, 7-6, 7-5, 8-6
    1981: Steve Denton d. John Alexander 6-7, 4-6, 7-6, 7-5, 7-6
    1999: Jens Knippschild d. Wayne Arthurs 3-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-5, 8-6
    2004: Guillermo Canas d. Tim Henman 6-7, 5-7, 7-6, 7-5, 9-7
    2009: Victor Hanescu d. Jan Hernych 3-6, 3-6, 7-6, 7-6, 8-6
    2021: Stefanos Tsitsipas d. Rafael Nadal 3-6, 2-6, 7-6, 6-4, 7-5 *

    * The only match with ‘6-4’… normally looking at scores you never know if the ‘6-4’ set means the loser was two games away from winning

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