Rafael Nadal is now out of the ongoing Australian Open. As a result, his No. 1 world ranking is in jeopardy.
Dominic Thiem had twice lost against Nadal in the French Open final. He has finally defeated Nadal in a major tournament, as he took the Spaniard down 7-6(3), 7-6(4), 4-6, 7-6(6), in the quarterfinals.
World No. 5 Thiem advanced to his first-ever Australian Open semifinal. He will now face World No. 7 Alexander Zverev. The German defeated No. 15 Stan Wawrinka, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 to qualify for his first major semifinal. Either Zverev or Thiem will make it to their first Australian Open final.
After the match, Thiem said, "I'm very happy that I won the tiebreak, otherwise we would be in the fifth now. Feeling good so far but I'm full of adrenaline, full of happy moments so we'll see when that is off how I feel tomorrow."
In terms of a head-to-head record, Nadal is still 9-5 ahead against Thiem. However, this marked the Austrian 26-years-old's first victory against the Spanish legend in any Grand Slam event.
The 33-year-old Spaniard has 19 career major titles to his name and he was bidding to win his 20th title, which means that he could have levelled Roger Federer's all-time men's record title tally.
It seems that Nadal will now have to wait until the French Open to attempt the most desired feat. He has an impressive record of winning 12 of his 19 appearances at Roland Garros. However, when it comes to the Australian Open, Nadal has won only one back in 2009.
World No. 2 Novak Djokovic will play against No. 3 Federer in the other semifinal on Thursday. In terms of all-time head-to-head, Djokovic leads Federer 26-23.
In case Djokovic successfully wins his eighth Australian Open title, he will reclaim the world No. 1 ranking. The "Big Three" of world tennis, including Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic, have won the last 12 Grand Slam titles since the 2016 U.S. Open. The streak might just come to an end if either of Thiem or Zverev emerges victorious in the ongoing competition.