Rafael Nadal started the current season by about 4,000 points, ahead of Stefanos Tsitsipas. Things have changed a lot in the past seven months, and the Greek will replace the Spaniard in the top three on Monday and 13th.
They become active players in this group. Next week, Stefanos will be a Top 3 in Toronto for the first time and will celebrate that success with Patrick Mouratoglou, who often works with the young Greek at his academy in France.
Tsitsipas had 4,660 points in 2021 and Nadal couldn’t keep up with that pace, winning two titles but never making a major final. The Spaniard will leave the top three for the first time since June 2017, losing some of his gains since the start of the pandemic last year and winning three titles in the past 12 months.
Nadal suffered a back injury in preparation for the Australian Open in Adelaide in January and reached the quarter-finals in Melbourne. The 2009 champions racked up four straight wins to reach the quarter-finals without spending much time on the field, played well and had a fantastic opportunity to extend their winning streak and advance to the semi-finals.
Instead, Stefanos Tsitsipas knocked out Nadal in five thrilling sets and put on a superb performance behind the number three set serve and triumphed in the crucial moments to claim a 3-6, 2-6, 7-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory!
Stefanos moved to a higher pace, controlled the pace of his service games in the third set and earned a 7-4 breakout for a massive push. Nadal made a few crushing mistakes in the tiebreak, and those mistakes cost him dearly because he couldn’t gain momentum for the rest of the match, and he stayed there but didn’t do enough to cross the finish line first.
The pressure was on Rafa in the fourth and fifth sets, and he couldn’t stand it after losing a forehand and breaking each one to hit the exit door.
Stefanos Tsitsipas will overtake Rafael Nadal in the ATP rankings tomorrow
Nadal lost some of his pace with his keystrokes during the match and fought more and more on his return to put Stefanos ahead.
At the same time, Tsitsipas threw everything he had at his opponent, delivered one good serve match after another, and completed his most famous career victory to advance to the second semi-final of the Australian Open in three years.
Nadal stayed out until April, and this time Tsitsipas took advantage of several victories and narrowing the gap against the Spaniard. Rafa lost to Andrei Rublev in the Monte Carlo quarter-finals, while Stefanos won the tournament, gained momentum and faced Nadal again in the Barcelona final.
Rafa won that match after three hours and 38 minutes of an uphill battle and saved one match point. He played better than the Greek in Madrid and Rome to regain his composure. Tsitsipas did well again at Roland Garros, reaching his first major final and collecting points when Nadal lost in the semi-finals.
Stefanos wasted a two-set lead over Novak to remain empty-handed and then lost ground to lose early in Wimbledon, Hamburg and the Tokyo Olympics.
On the flip side, the Spaniard withdrew nearly two months after injuring his foot at Roland Garros, returning to the court in Washington this week and losing in the third round to put Stefanos ahead of him and leave third after more than four years. .
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