Rafael Nadal attacks Novak Djokovic? Rafael after reaching the quarter-finals of the Australian Open 2021 after a beautiful and convincing performance against Fabio Fognini, literally crashed in three sets with the result of 6-3; 6-4; 6-2, spoke of his arch rival.
He said: "I have spent over 20 days with back pains that have not allowed me to train as I wanted. I would have signed up to be in this condition five days ago. Today's match will be of great help to me as I hope and believe my training scheduled for tomorrow will be.
I managed to stay alive in the tournament and now I have a chance to win the title, a real chance if I continue to improve physically. You always have to take injuries into account, but I can say with certainty that if you are really injured you cannot win the title of champion.
Maybe there are pains that weigh down your performance, but you know you can improve and you are still able to compete. I remember in the past I made bad decisions, in 2009 I started the US Open with an injury and the situation got worse."
Australian Open 2021: Aslan Keratsve beats Dimitrov and writes history
The first Quarterfinal of the Australian Open 2021 offers yet another and quite incredible big surprise. The Russian Aslan Karatsev, number 114 in the world, beats Grigor Dimitrov and sensationally reaches the semi-finals of a Grand Slam.
A totally unexpected name with Karatsev rewriting the record book by being the first player in history to reach the semi-finals of a Grand Slam on his first participation. Karatsev is also the first Russian to reach the semifinals here in Melbourne since 2005, since the time of Marat Safin, waiting for the other who will surely come out of the derby between Medvedev and Rublev.
What is surprising is the umpteenth injury of this tournament with Dimitrov who, due to lumbago, is practically forced to stop, giving up or almost giving up playing the last two sets of the tournament. There were great expectations for the Bulgarian, especially after the beautiful victory in the previous round over world number 3 Dominic Thiem, who arrived a few days ago with the result of 6-4; 6-4; 6-0.
After the victory in the first round which came clearly over our Gianluca Mager, Karatsev achieved increasingly interesting results and first knocked down Diego Schwartzman, then in the Round of 16 he won a great match in the fifth set on the Canadian talent Felix Auger Aliassime and today he closed with a flourish.
winning a result that no one would have predicted at the start of the match. After an initial break immediately in the third game Dimitrov starts strong and makes 5 consecutive games showing quite clearly a superiority. The first set ends 6-2, but Karatsev does not give up and after having canceled several break points in the second game, he faces a break and counterbreak during the set that closes using the second break point in the ninth game and thus closing at 6-4.
From now on there was practically no more competition with Dimitrov who, due to physical problems, continued to play despite obvious physical problems and with Karatsev who, game after game, deservedly took this great opportunity.