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Australian Open: Rafael Nadal’s date with tennis immortality | Tennis News – Times of India

Nadal to face Medvedev in bid to clinch record 21st Grand Slam
On an evening when words more than his unorthodox fare was the disruptor, Daniil Medvedev introduced himself as the spoiler.
The world No. 2 drew a parallel between the US Open final in September and the Australian Open’s championship match on Sunday.
“I’m going to play again someone who’s going for their 21st Grand Slam,” said Medvedev, who ruined Novak Djokovic’s calendar Grand Slam bid in New York. “Last time Rafa was watching on TV and I think this time Novak will be watching this one.”

With that the Russian’s count of sneaky winners for the evening could be rounded off at 40. Medvedev came up with the goods when he had to against the crowd-favourite Stefanos Tsitsipas to wrap-up the last-four engagement in four sets 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-4, 6-1. Nadal came through his semifinal against Italian Matteo Berrettini in impressive fashion, clinching the clash of generations, 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3. The 35-year-old started well and was in control for most part of the near three-hour exchange played under the roof.
Tsitsipas started superbly, playing flawless one-strike tennis, coming in behind his serve, so much so that the 23-year-old was calling the shots, leaving his opponent to do the scrambling.

The capacity crowd at the Rod Laver Arena, a large section of which were flag-waving Greeks, was loving it. There was a big applause, which sounded louder than it was, when the Russian double-faulted in the ninth game of the second set, all but setting up the fourth seed to draw level.
Medvedev gestured to the crowd and was promptly coded by chair umpire Jaume Campistol. The Russian, who has let the noisy Melbourne crowd wear him down this fortnight, has even turned the heat on the player standing at the opposite end on a couple of occasions. He went after Campistol this time.


“For what?” Medvedev asked, possibly questioning the code and when he didn’t get an answer continued to rage, “Are you mad? His father can coach every point? Are you stupid? Look at me! How can you be so bad in the semifinal.”
Campistol didn’t budge. At the end of the set the world No. 2 went up to the chair umpire and said, “If you don’t (code him), you are a small cat. ” Medvedev admitted that things had turned ugly on the court, he regretted his conduct which bordered on gamesmanship.

“I don’t think it’s nice. I know that every umpire is trying to do their best,” Medvedev said. “In tennis we don’t fight with fists, but tennis is a fight. It’s one-on-one. I’m actually really respectful of players who never, almost never, show their emotions because that is tough.”
The 23-year-old Greek, who is coming back from an elbow surgery, has been focused on the job all tournament, but on Friday appeared to let Medvedev’s tirade get the better of him. “I don’t pay attention to the stuff,” Tsitsipas said. “I know players like to do this to throw you off mentally. It’s all right. He’s not the most mature person anyways”, he signed off.

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