Yevgeny Kafelnikov recently spoke with Tennis Majors about Rafael Nadal’s exit from the 2021 Australian Open. Kafelnikov expressed surprise at the manner of the loss of Nadal on Wednesday; The Russian hoped that the World No. 2 experience would see him against his young rival, but it did not.
Rafael Nadal was in a hurry to run out of blocks in the quarterfinal, as he defeated Stephanos Tsitipas 6-3, 6-2 at the end of the first two sets. But the Greek would eventually turn the match on its head with some inspired play on his serve and forehand, which earned special praise from Kafelnikov.
“The way the first two sets unfolded, I certainly did not expect Tsiptus to win,” Kafelnikov said. “It was shocking to me that Rafael Nadal lost three straight sets. Titsipas is definitely a great player, there is no question about that; he is very talented and has the skills to be one of the very best is.”
“I hope Rafael Nadal’s experience will be the deciding factor” – Yevgeny Kafelnikov
Yevgeny Kafelnikov, who himself won the Australian Open in 1999, then named Daniel Medvedev as a favorite against Stephanos Tsitipas in the second men’s semi-final played on Friday.
“Tsitsipas’ game suited Medvedev’s playing style and I don’t see how Stephanos could present problems for Daniels,” Kafelnikov said. “In my opinion, Tsitsipas doesn’t have a ‘killer’ shot, which could cause Medvedev’s trouble and Daniels loves to play against opponents with one-handed backhands, Tsitsipas able to” hurt “him. Is not.
Kafelnikov cited Medvedev’s service on Friday and the return of Tsitsipas, one of the few important aspects of his match on Friday. The Russian believes Medvedev alone is the favorite to reach the final based on his head-to-head record, which is currently 5–1 in favor of Medvedev.
Published on 18 February 2021, 20:57 IST