This year it has not been possible either. The pursuit of a second Australian Open after lifting it in 2009 is holding up for Rafael. On this occasion, his executioner was the Greek Tsitsipas, who was able to overcome an adverse score in the first two sleeves.
At the beginning of the game, Stefanos was not very successful and Rafael maintained a clearly superior level. His game was aggressive, he constantly led the initiative, dominated in all aspects and managed to minimize the blows of his rival. The feeling I had while watching the game from home is that his opponent could not find a way to hurt him, and this was manifested by the despair and frustration on his face. But from the third set, the intensity that Rafael had shown so far was subsided and allowed his rival to recover and equalize both the game and the score.
Both tennis players were scoring with some ease the games in which they had service. And thus a tie break in which Rafael accused the errors that he had not committed in the first two sets of the match, and that in the end had a triggering effect. He gave Tsitsipas wings to continue fighting hard, to prevail in the next three sets and thus earn his place in the semifinal.
It is well known that in tennis, when one player goes up, the other goes down and that it is difficult to determine which of the two circumstances determines the other.
Now we have two semifinals ahead that, a priori, are drawn somewhat uneven. In one, Novak Djokovic starts as a clear favorite and should have no trouble getting rid of Aslan Karatsev, who has surprisingly come from qualifying to a Grand Slam semi-final. So much for ranking as from experience, we are facing two totally divergent players.
As for the other, the result is more difficult to see. I think we will see a game of great intensity and very even. Both Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev have proven guarantees to promote it and to keep us on edge until the last moment.
The female painting also presents us this morning two crosses of somewhat different attractiveness. On the one hand, Jennifer Brady and Karolina Muchova, with the singularity that neither of them had ever reached a grand final. And in the other, the portentous and aggressive Naomi Osaka against Serena Williams, who 22 years after winning her first major is looking for 24th to equal the mythical Margaret Court.
I can’t stop appreciating the good tennis days ahead of us, but, as might be expected, I feel like Rafael had to say goodbye. I kept hoping to see him regain his form as the days went by. There is no other than to do the usual. Look ahead and start thinking about Paris now to chase down an exhilarating 21st Grand Slam trophy.