Stefanos Tsitsipas fought from two sets to love down for the second time in his career as the Greek knocked Rafael Nadal out of the quarter-finals of the Australian Open on Wednesday.
The struggle which lasted for just over four hours ended Nadal’s quest for a possible 21st Grand Slam trophy as he lost 3-6, 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-4, 7-5.
Tsitsipas also rallied from the brink in the first round of Roland Garros last September in a win over Jaume Munar, another Spaniard.
Tsitsipas nailed 17 aces in the contest where he looked long done after dropping the first two sets after barely an hour on court in front of stands left empty by the final day of a citywide COVID lockdown.
Nadal saved two match points in the final game but created a third by picking g up a volley in the air and sending it into the top of the net; Tsitsipas responded a point later with a down-the-line backhand winner to end the drama,
Nadal has only lost once from two sets up, against Fabio Fognini at the 2015 US Open.
Fifth seed Tsitsipas benefitted from a fourth-round walkover over injured Matteo Berrettini,.
The victory was only the second for Tsitsipas in the series against six losses to Nadal.
Tsitsipas will play for the final against Andrei Medvedev, who defeated fellow Russian seed Andrey Rublev 7-5, 6-3, 6-2.