An aggravated Rafael Nadal was spent spinning out of the Australian Open by a brilliant performance from Austria’s Dominic Thiem to guarantee a new finalist on Sunday.
After a match of high drama the world No 1 was upset over the operation of the shot clock by French umpire Aurelie Tourte and even his personal air conditioning pipe at changeovers as he went down 7-6, 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 in the quarter finals to the No 5 seed.
Thiem, who had some outrageous good fortune with netcords, now faces Alexander Zverev in Friday’s second semi-final while Novak Djokovic will tackle Roger Federer on Thursday.
It is the Spaniard’s earliest Grand Slam exit in two years, and the furthest progress at a Grand Slam for the 26 year-old Austrian outside Roland Garros.
Nadal loses out on Australian Open victory to Dominic Thiem
‘The tiebreaks I really played well, the match was on great level, we were both in great form,’ said Thiem.
‘We already had an epic match in New York two years ago, the netcord was really on my side but it’s necessary because he is one of the greatest of all time.
‘I just wanted to stay in the match. At 5-4 it was a special situation for me. It was mentally tough situation and I couldn’t handle it but I turned it round in the tiebreak. There are demons in the head, everyone has it.’
Rafael Nadal sees his chance of catching up against old time rival Roger Federer having to wait a little longer given he has been knocked out of the Australian Open.
Dominic Thiem for the first time reaches a grand slam semi final, a remarkable achievement for the 26 year old. He now faces Alexander Zverev in Friday’s second semi-final while Novak Djokovic will tackle Roger Federer on Thursday.
Thiem will be hoping that his lack will take him all the way to the finals but then once he gets to the finals, it will be a massive game for him to take on one of the greats of Federer or Djokovic.
Author: Moses Echodu
Moses is an avid Sports and Tech enthusiast. He loves to keep up to date with all the latest information and research on some of the most compelling stories.