Rafael Nadal sees no reason to treat his Australian Open semi-final against another Next Gen star in Stefanos Tsitsipas differently to any other match.

The Spaniard eased into the last four at Melbourne Park - a stage at which he has lost just once, in 2008 - with a 6-3 6-4 6-2 success over the unseeded Frances Tiafoe on Rod Laver Arena.

And next up for the second seed is a meeting with Tiafoe's fellow Next Gen alumni Tsitsipas, who counts six-time champion Roger Federer among his scalps en route to a maiden grand slam semi-final.

But Nadal will not be changing his approach as he prepares for a 30th appearance in the last four of a major.

"I play another match if they are the Next Gen or not," said the 17-time grand slam winner.

"For me what really matters is win the match and give myself a chance to be in the next round. That's the real feeling for me at this stage of my career.

"I know they are good. I know they will be fighting for the most important things during the next couple of years. I don't take it that way. I just take it like a difficult match against players that have a lot of energy. That's all.

"It's another match. It's a difficult match. I try to do my thing, do it well to try to give myself the chance to be through. It's a good challenge for me. I hope to be ready for it.

"I am playing well. I did a lot of things well during the week and a half. Let's see. I don't know, I can't predict what can happen.

"I am just going day by day and being very happy about the way things started for me. It's very positive the way that I am in the semi-finals. That's the only thing that I can say. Then I'm going to try to be ready for it."

After being outclassed by Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open quarter-finals, Frances Tiafoe has his sights set on a meeting with NBA legend LeBron James.

The 21-year-old, unseeded at Melbourne Park, had never before been beyond the third round of a grand slam and defeating 17-time major champion Nadal proved too tall a task on Tuesday.

Nadal eased into a semi-final clash with Stefanos Tsitsipas courtesy of a routine 6-3 6-4 6-2 success on Rod Laver Arena as Tiafoe had no answer to the relentless Spaniard.

After wins over Kevin Anderson and Andreas Seppi en route to the last eight, Tiafoe imitated James' famed 'Silencer' celebration and the world number 39 was asked if he thought his run to the quarters would boost his chances of meeting the Los Angeles Lakers superstar.

"Man, forget about the slam. I thought once I had the celebration the first couple times, I thought I was going to get a meeting with him," Tiafoe told a news conference.

"I would love to meet him one day. That would mean the world to me.

"I think just kind of talk, pick his brain, see everything he's accomplished, just on and off court, to be just half the guy he is would be unbelievable. I look up to him with everything. He's a true role model."

Tiafoe was subsequently asked if James had messaged him following those copy-cat celebrations, to which he replied: "No, if he texted me, I wouldn't be here right now. I'd be FaceTiming him, if he had my number.

"Just the Instagram comment. Yeah, 'the silencer', that's all he said. That's it."

Rafael Nadal powered his way into the Australian Open semi-finals with a convincing straight-sets win over Frances Tiafoe.

American youngster Tiafoe has wowed Melbourne during his run to the last eight, the furthest he has gone at a grand slam, but the gulf in quality and experience was evident from the off on Rod Laver Arena.

Nadal rarely had to shift through the gears en route to a 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory that was wrapped up in just one hours and 47 minutes, sealing a sixth Melbourne semi - and 30th in all slams - for the 32-year-old.

The Spaniard, who has won just one of his 17 slam titles in Melbourne, will now face impressive NextGen star Stefanos Tsitsipas for a place in Sunday's final.

Nadal blew Tiafoe away with an outstanding opening 10-minute display of power, precision and outrageous quality – breaking in just the second game when his opponent found the net after a series of brilliant groundstrokes.

To Tiafoe's credit, he held a couple to love but Nadal raced through his own service games to clinch an opening set lacking in extended rallies.

A similarly poor start to the second set from Tiafoe in which he failed to land his opening three first serves was punished as Nadal broke to love with a clean winner.

Tiafoe did not win a point on Nadal's first serve until game four of the second set and a couple of poor shots and sloppy errors handed the American two break points that were quickly quashed.

Three set points came and went with Tiafoe serving to prolong the inevitable, but in Nadal's next service game a trademark crunching forehand down the line set him up to finish the job.

Another break arrived immediately at the start of the third and the writing was one the wall when Tiafoe dropped serve again in game seven, with Nadal giving the 21-year-old the run-around before putting away another forehand.

A simple hold for the match followed and Nadal, who is still to drop a set this tournament, looks in ominous form ahead of his date with Tsitsipas.


Nadal [2] bt Tiafoe 6-3 6-4 6-2

Nadal - 29/23
Tiafoe - 24/34

Nadal - 11/0
Tiafoe - 13/0

Nadal - 4/8
Tiafoe - 0/2

Nadal - 74
Tiafoe - 75

Nadal - 84/60
Tiafoe - 70/33

Nadal - 88
Tiafoe - 61

Stefanos Tsitsipas believes backing up his stunning victory over Roger Federer at the Australian Open was more important than defeating the legendary Swiss.

The Greek youngster battled into his first grand slam semi-final with a gutsy 7-5 4-6 6-4 7-6 (7-2) victory over Roberto Bautista Agut on Tuesday.

It came just two days after the 14th seed had toppled double-defending champion Federer in a brutal four-setter in Melbourne.

Tsitsipas concedes it was tough to come back down to earth after defeating the 20-time slam winner, which he feels made his triumph against Bautista Agut all the more important. 

"It was really tough. [The] first night was tough to process," he said. "In the beginning was tough to fall asleep, to be honest with you. 

"I had a pain in my toe which kept me awake. In general, I felt a bit of pain in my body and tension.

"I slept less than six hours. I was worried about my next match, if I'm going to be able to get some good sleep the day before. 

"I slept pretty well the other night. I received a lot of messages, a lot of congrats from people, from celebrities back home, which I never thought they were watching tennis. 

"It kind of felt like the whole thing has a big impact in the country, so yeah, lots of messages, congratulations from people, people sending me videos, photos, whatever. 

"I did want to concentrate on my next match. I knew that win against Federer was important, it played a huge role in my image, like who I am. 

"But I knew that the biggest challenge was today's match, that I can prove myself once again."

Tsitsipas' run has drawn new eyes to the Greek sensation and the regular vlogger has reportedly doubled his YouTube page subscribers.

Surprised by the news, Tsitsipas opened up on why he enjoys the platform.

"Oh, my God. Really?" He replied when told about his legion of new followers.

"I didn't know it was going to have such an impact, what I said. I didn't check yet. I think I'm going to be more careful what I'm going to post on my next video.

"I started last year, inspired by some other people. When I'm desperate sometimes, when I feel down, I do these videos, I actually feel better. 

"It makes me realise that tennis is not the most important thing in life, that we all have some other talents that we don't know about. It kind of makes me more relaxed."

Stefanos Tsitsipas' dream Australian Open run continued with a four-set win over Roberto Bautista Agut in the quarter-finals on Tuesday.

Tsitsipas moved into his first grand slam semi-final after a tough 7-5 4-6 6-4 7-6 (7-2) victory over the Spanish 22nd seed on Rod Laver Arena.

The 20-year-old, who is the 14th seed, managed to back up his stunning win against Roger Federer with another success as Bautista Agut – coming off three five-set wins in four matches – tired late.

Awaiting Tsitsipas in the last four is either Rafael Nadal or Frances Tiafoe.

Tsitsipas took time to settle, falling behind an early break, but he recovered late in the first set.

As Bautista Agut struggled with the sun at one end, Tsitsipas created set point in the 10th game with a forehand winner and converted when the Spaniard sent a backhand into the net.

A poor game saw Tsitsipas give up serve in the third game of the second set and this time Bautista Agut made no mistake on his way to levelling the match.

For the third straight set, Bautista Agut went 4-2 up, only to begin to tire, losing four consecutive games.

Tsitsipas, who gave up multiple first serves due to time violations, took the set 6-4 after a slice backhand down the line.

Both players were comfortable on serve in the fourth set until the 12th game, when Bautista Agut saved a match point with an incredible forehand winner on his way to forcing a tie-break.

Tsitsipas took a 3-0 lead courtesy of a stunning backhand down the line and while Bautista Agut briefly responded, he closed out his victory.

Tsitsipas [14] bt Bautista Agut [22] 7-5 4-6 6-4 7-6 (7-2)

Tsitsipas - 68/38
Bautista Agut - 50/32

Tsitsipas - 22/3
Bautista Agut - 6/2

Tsitsipas - 4/11
Bautista Agut - 3/4

Tsitsipas - 57
Bautista Agut - 69

Tsitsipas - 84/49
Bautista Agut - 73/55

Tsitsipas - 131
Bautista Agut - 126

Novak Djokovic said a hard-fought fourth-round defeat of Daniil Medvedev took its toll but the world number one is confident he can recover as he strives to make history at the Australian Open.

Novak Djokovic said a hard-fought fourth-round defeat of Daniil Medvedev took its toll but the world number one is confident he can recover as he strives to make history at the Australian Open.

Pablo Carreno Busta apologised after reacting furiously to his defeat to Kei Nishikori at the Australian Open, while Alexander Zverev also lost his cool as he was dumped out on Monday too.

Simona Halep will have to wait and see if she retains top spot in the world rankings after her defeat to Serena Williams opened the door for a new number one to be crowned at the Australian Open.

Novak Djokovic continued his quest to win a record seventh Australian Open title by reaching the quarter-finals with a battling defeat of Daniil Medvedev.

Simona Halep ranked her Australian Open showing as "close to 10" after feeling like she had "hit by a train" in the first set of a fourth-round defeat to Serena Williams.

Stefanos Tsitsipas shocked the world at the Australian Open and the Greek star is creating quite the buzz in Melbourne.

World number four Alexander Zverev crashed out of the Australian Open on Monday, but not before he completely smashed his racquet in Melbourne.

Roberto Bautista Agut is in the midst of his best run at a grand slam, reaching the Australian Open quarter-finals.

But, it could have been so much different had the world number 24 and nine-time ATP Tour winner from sunny Spain pursued his other love – football.

Born in Castellon de la Plana in the east of the Iberian Peninsula, Bautista Agut impressed with his football skills for hometown club CD Castellon, who boast past players such as Vicente del Bosque and Gaizka Mendieta.

Bautista Agut caught the attention of LaLiga side Villarreal and it is there where the Spaniard played until the age of 14, before turning to tennis.

"When I was a kid I went to Madrigal Stadium to watch Villarreal, I dreamed of becoming a footballer," Bautista Agut told LaLiga via Twitter in 2017.

"Until juniors, I was playing at Villarreal. I played the Brunete tournament. I was less technical, but I was scoring goals even with my ears."

Bautista Agut added: "I would have liked to play football well but could not do both things…  I left the football shoes and I took the racquet forever."

Now, Bautista Agut is enjoying one of his best runs on the ATP circuit.

Buoyed by his upset over Novak Djokovic en route to glory in Doha earlier this month, Bautista Agut was the villain when he potentially sent three-time slam champion Andy Murray into retirement at Melbourne Park on day one.

He then upstaged 10th seed Karen Khachanov before outlasting 2018 Australian Open runner-up Marin Cilic in five sets for a spot in the last eight of a slam after 25 main-draw attempts and nine prior fourth-round losses.

"I've been playing very good tennis. I won really good matches," Bautista Agut told reporters following his 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 6-2 4-6 6-4 victory against Cilic. "I had to fight so hard to stay very focused. It's been a great month for me and for my tennis."

As the 30-year-old prepares for a mouth-watering clash with Greek sensation Stefanos Tsitsipas, Bautista Agut's decision to drop football for tennis appears to be the right one.

Stefanos Tsitsipas believes he can go all the way at the Australian Open after stunning double defending champion Roger Federer in the fourth round.

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