Stefanos Tsitsipas crying after Rafael Nadal defeat

Stefanos Tsitsipas admits Rafael Nadal inflicted a ‘painful’ humiliation on him, but he’s happy he did

Stefanos Tsitsipas has opened up about his 2019 Australian Open defeat to Rafael Nadal, admitting it was a ‘painful’ experience.

Tsitsipas knocked Roger Federer out of the tournament already before running into Nadal, but he was soundly beaten in the semi-finals.

In fact, it went so wrong for the Greek that he was even bageled in the third set to add the final insult to the 6-2, 6-4, 6-0 defeat.

Tsitsipas, though, while happy to admit it was a painful experience, also believes it was an absolutely necessary one.

“Tough losses are important for my career as they make me want to come back stronger, and without them I feel like I’m perfect: which I’m not,” Tsitsipas told on that defeat to Rafael Nadal.

“They are crucial for everyone. That semi-final loss was painful, even though it was in three sets.

“I came so close to reaching a Grand Slam final, something I have always dreamed of doing. I also didn’t deliver much in that match, he played well.

“It was a shame, as I’d played well in the two weeks. I went back to the court two days [later] and started to improve.

“You can’t hit winners and aces all of the time, but I had this let-down [last] summer.

“I was trying to get better and better, but I started to go backwards — when you put in so much work and effort, but it has the reverse effect.

“But that’s what happened, and I knew I had to loosen up and not to expect too much.

“I had to enjoy the game, and not go out to get a big lead and win. You can’t get everything perfectly done.”

Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.