Nadal is in the Australian Open final without losing a set; he will face Novak Djokovic or Lucas Pouille.
MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Rafael Nadal needed 11 minutes in his Australian Open semifinal to show Stefanos Tsitsipas, 20 – and everyone else – that the irritation of Roger Federer's boy would not be replicated tonight.
Not even close.
Breaking Tsitispas in the third game of the game and then five times on Thursday, while never faced a single break point until the last game, Nadal cleared the way for a 6-2, 6-4, 6-0 win that put him field. his fifth final at Melbourne Park and 25 at all Grand Slam tournaments.
Tsitsipas' run to the first semifinal of his nascent career was most notable for how he defeated champion 20-time champion Federer in the fourth round, saving 12 of 12 break points in four sets and 3 hours and 45 minutes.
But Nadal was a much more difficult puzzle to solve.
On Sunday, the 32-year-old Spaniard will attempt to win his second Australian Open title – he won the tough event in 2009 – and his 18th Slam trophy.
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This final will be against Novak Djokovic or Lucas Pouille, who plays on Friday.
A title would make Nadal only the third man in the sport's history to conquer every Grand Slam at least twice, joining the great retired Australians Rod Laver – a spectator on the front row of Thursday night in an arena called by him – and Roy Emerson.
After a series of health problems, Nadal is once again relentless force of forehand strokes that can dominate either. He gave up during the quarter-final match at Melbourne Park a year ago because of a problem in his right leg, then stopped again during the semi-final at the US Open in September because of a painful right knee. This was followed by offseason surgery in the right ankle.
Even though he's wearing a strip of duct tape over an abdominal muscle that has bothered him in the past, Nadal has been great in Australia, winning all 18 sets he has played.