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During their four-hour, five-set match, Rafael Nadal fell to Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas 3-6, 2-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4, 7-5

By Jen Juneau
February 17, 2021 10:56 AM
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Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal
| Credit: Andy Brownbill/AP/Shutterstock

Rafael Nadal will not be competing his 21st Grand Slam title, after a defeat in the Australian Open's quarterfinals.

The longtime tennis pro, 34, fell 3-6, 2-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4, 7-5 to Stefanos Tsitsipas on Wednesday, during their four-hour, five-set match that saw Tsitsipas, 22, come from behind to clinch the advance.

After the match, the Spanish player said, "I have to go back home and practice to be better," according to USA Today.

Said Tsitsipas after his win, "I have no words to describe what has just happened on the court — my tennis speaks for itself," reports Sports Illustrated.

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Rafael Nadal; Stefanos Tsitsipas
Rafael Nadal (L); Stefanos Tsitsipas
| Credit: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images; WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images
Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal
| Credit: PAUL CROCK/AFP via Getty Images

"It's an unbelievable feeling to fight at such a high level and leave it out on the court," Tsitsipas continued. "I started very nervously. I don't know what happened after the third set. I flew like a bird and everything worked for me."

The Greek athlete will go on to face Russian tennis star Daniil Medvedev, who placed second in the 2019 U.S. Open, during Friday's semifinals. Neither Tsitsipas nor Medvedev, 25, has won a Grand Slam title before.

Meanwhile, Nadal was vying for his 21st Grand Slam win to break his tie with Roger Federer, who also currently holds 20 titles.

RELATED VIDEO: Rafael Nadal Advances to Face Roger Federer in Australian Open Final

Nadal earned his 20th Grand Slam title back in October, sweeping Novak Djokovic in the French Open men's singles final in Paris.

Ahead of the match, Nadal — who is undefeated in his French Open appearances and holds the most titles for singles, male or female, in tennis history — was ranked second in the world, while Djokovic, 33, was ranked first among men's singles tennis players.

"I want to send a message to everyone around the world. We are facing one of the worst moments that I think we remember in this world facing and fighting against [the coronavirus pandemic]," Nadal said after his French Open win. "Just keep going, stay positive and all the very best. We will go through this and we will win."