Nadal beaten by Tsitsipas in Madrid


Novak Djokovic will play Stefanos Tsitsipas for the Madrid Open title after the 20-year-old Greek stunned Rafael Nadal on Saturday to win a thrilling semi-final 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 on his fourth match point.

"I thought he was the favorite coming into this match because of his win in Barcelona and the way he played winning against Roger yesterday", said Djokovic, who will face either Nadal or Stefanos Tsitsipas, who play later Saturday.

Nadal hit his stride after a steady start and broke to lead at 3-1 when Tiafoe was caught out at the net.

Djokovic's victory was also a record-equalling 33rd Masters 1000 title for the Serbian, drawing him level with great rival Rafa Nadal at the top of the all-time list.

Now, the World Number nine, Tsitsipas has unlocked his victories against the "Big Three" of tennis as he has now defeated, Novak Djokovic in Canada, Roger Federer in Australia and Rafael Nadal in his home country.

The Spanish second seed in Madrid had commented on the eve of his debut that he was feeling confident despite having failed to win a tournament on his favorite clay court surface so far in 2019.

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Nadal seemed to have the momentum after winning 13 out of 16 points at the end of the second set but he spurned two break points in the decider before Tsitsipas broke twice for 5-2.

Djokovic said he was likely facing an opponent lacking a few physical reserves after a long semi-final struggle with Nadal. I have seen plenty of his matches, but I'm going to try to adapt to the way he is playing on clay as fast as I can because I'm pretty sure he is not easy on clay, as on hard.

Now Nadal heads to Rome for the Italian Open - where he is the defending and eight-time champion - aiming to win his first clay title before attempting to defend his Roland Garros crown.

"I have to be mentally prepared for a tough match", said Tsitsipas, who defeated Djokovic in Toronto previous year. "I think I will still have a very good opportunity to fight for titles for the rest of the year". "And he's only a year younger than me", said Berrettini.

"It was a very important win for me against one of the best players in the world", said Djokovic, a two-time champion in Madrid.

In the women's singles, world No. 1 Naomi Osaka is through to the quarter-finals for the first time after she eased past Belarussian Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-2, 6-3.