TENNIS The Spaniard, on the ropes after an express recovery from Shapovalov, finally won in five sets against the Canadian Shapovalov (6 -4, 6-3, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3)

Australian Open: Diminished, abused, Nadal still manages in five sets and awaits Monfils in the semi-finals

Rafael Nadal awaits Monfils or Berrettini in the Australian Open semi-finals. — Aaron FRANCIS/AFP

Rafael Nadal is not a legend for nothing. Boiled after two hours in the middle of a dodger against Shapovalov, a 23-year-old youngster, the Spaniard succeeded in grit your teeth, save a few important break points at the start of the fifth set to snatch a seventh semi-final from; Australian Open (6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3).

Not as physically sovereign

At 35, “Rafa” no longer has his unsinkable physical condition of yesteryear, especially since he has returned from six months without playing due to yet another physical glitch, but no one to help. part Djokovic does not feel the moments of a match better than him. A problem to the stomach in the 3rd and 4th sets, the aggressiveness of Shapovalov, the extreme heat conditions, everything was there to see him give in like last year. facing Tsitsipas.

“I was destroyed after the fourth set, admitted the 6th player in the world at the microphone of Jim Courier on the Rod Laver Arena. It’s been a very difficult day, very hot. I had my chances to close the deal earlier, but I felt more and more tired. I started to I had a stomach ache, I took some lozenges, and it was fine. better. I’m’t’t be 21 anymore, so it’s good to have two days off before the next game. can't wait to be there.

This will be his seventh Melbourne semi-final,” Monfils or Berrettini​, Friday. A small statistic to encourage the Frenchman before his quarter? The only half lost by Nadal at the quarter. the Australian Open dates back to 2008, against a certain Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.