Greek tennis sensation Stefanos Tsitsipas cemented his spot in the final of the Madrid Open after battling past world number two Rafael Nadal in the semi-final of the tournament on Sunday.
After comfortably winning the opening set, the 20-year-old went down in the second before he rebounded strongly to seal a thrilling 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 triumph over five-time champion Nadal in a last-four clash of the men's singles event that lasted grueling two hours and 35 minutes.
Describing his victory over Nadal as 'unbelievable', Tsitsipas said that he played one of the best games of this year on Sunday before adding that he is enjoying tennis at its fullest potential now.
"It means the world. I'm really happy that I proved myself today. I played one of my best games this year. I'm really happy that I'm fighting, I'm in the zone. I'm enjoying tennis at its fullest potential. It's really nice to be able to play this way. Today's victory is just an unbelievable feeling,"the Association for tennis Professional (ATP) quoted Tsitsipas as saying.
Ahead of their match, Nadal had won all three head-to-head meetings against Tsitsipas without dropping a set.
The Spanish tennis maestro, who is yet to lift a trophy this year, was looking to reach his ninth final in Madrid and 50th ATP Masters 1000 final.
Tsitsipas, on the other hand, will now look to extend his ATP head-to-head series lead against Novak Djokovic to 2-0 when the duo faces each other in the summit showdown of the tournament later today.
Talking ahead of the clash, Tsitsipas admitted that Djokovic is in a pretty good state of his game and, therefore, he needs to be mentally prepared for the tough clash against the world number one.
"I have to play the same way. I have to be mentally prepared for a tough match. He's in a pretty good state of his tennis, so it won't be easy. He had some good matches coming into the final, so I'm going to have to be ready for that match," Tsitsipas said. "I'm sure he wants the title as badly as me."
Earlier, Djokovic had booked his place in the final of the Madrid Open after brushing aside fifth seed Dominic Thiem in straight sets in their last-four clash on Saturday.