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Australian Open 2019, Day 11 Results & Roundup: Nadal pummels Tsitsipas; Kvitova and Osaka reach final

FEATURED COLUMNIST
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238   //    25 Jan 2019, 00:28 IST

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal stole the show on Day 11 of the 2019 Australian Open with a stellar performance as he booked his place in the final of the season’s first Major in Melbourne on Thursday. The Spaniard refused to put his foot wrong in his 6-2, 6-4, 6-0 thumping win over the 14th seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, ending the rising Greek star’s fabulous Australian Open campaign.

The 20-year-old Tsitsipas had earlier upset the two-time defending champion Roger Federer in the fourth round en route to becoming the youngest man to reach the last-four stage of a Major since Novak Djokovic at the 2007 Australian Open. However, against the irrepressible Nadal, he could not replicate any of those fireworks he produced against the Swiss.

The 2009 champion looked dialled-in right from the word go and broke twice to wrap up a breezy first set. He looked poised to get an early break even in the second as he went up 40-0 on the Tsitsipas serve in the fifth game. But five points of sheer brilliance saved the Greek and extended his fight in the second set before the relentless southpaw struck again in the ninth game to serve out the set successfully.

Having had his hopes dashed in the first two sets, the Nadal juggernaut was evidently too much for the youngster to deal with and he crumbled under pressure in the face of the onslaught in 1 hour 46 minutes.

Nadal moved into his fifth Australian Open final and his 25th Major final overall. The World No. 2 will search for only his second crown in Melbourne to add to his staggering tally of 17 Slams when he meets the winner of the Djokovic vs Lucas Pouille semi-final on Sunday.

Osaka to meet Kvitova

The women’s singles final on Saturday will witness an engrossing battle between two Slam champions after fourth seed Naomi Osaka and eighth seed Petra Kvitova set up a showdown. It presents an interesting scenario as the winner of the match will become the new World No. 1, apart from winning this title for the first time.

The two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova made it to her first Australian Open final, courtesy of a 7-6(2), 6-0 win over surprise semi-finalist Danielle Collins.

The Czech committed 22 unforced errors in the first set and then lifted her level by several notches to race through the second set. Kvitova is now on an 11-match winning streak following her title win at Sydney in the run-up to the Slam.

This is also the Czech’s first appearance in a Major final since suffering a devastating knife attack in December 2016.

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21-year-old Osaka has now won 13 matches in a row at Grand Slams following a thrilling 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 triumph over seventh seed and 2016 US Open runner-up Karolina Pliskova. The Japanese will aim for her second consecutive Major title following her win over the great Serena Williams in a controversial final at the US Open last September.

Osaka thundered 15 aces past the Czech and had 56 winners against a paltry 30 unforced errors in a fabulous show of resilience, determination, and hunger.

Australian Open 2019 Day-11 Results:

Stefanos Tsitsipas (2-6, 4-6, 0-6)Rafael Nadal

Petra Kvitova (7-6(7-2), 6-0) Danielle Collins

Karolina Pliskova (2-6, 6-4, 4-6) Naomi Osaka

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