Rafael Nadal reached his 30th Grand Slam semi-final with a crushing victory over Frances Tiafoe at the Australian Open.
The second seed arrived in Melbourne having not played a match since September because of a series of injury problems, but has barely put a foot wrong all fortnight and is the only man not to have dropped a set.
That statistic was not challenged by young American Tiafoe, who was swatted aside 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 in only an hour and 47 minutes.
Nadal, who extended his winning streak over Americans to 21 straight matches, said: “For me it’s very emotional to be back in the semi-finals in Melbourne. I had some troubles here in all my career, so to be back means everything to me. Of course I’m very happy with the way that I played tonight.”
The 32-year-old has now dismissed two of the next generation in Tiafoe and Alex de Minaur, and must prepare for another one in Stefanos Tsitsipas.
“I said a couple of rounds ago that they can wait a little bit, but it looks like they don’t want to wait,” said Nadal with a smile. “It’s going to be a great year in terms of sharing generations. That makes this sport special.”
He added of Tsitsipas: “He’s a player that during the last year he has been improving every month. He’s able to win against the best players of the world already. He’s a great player. He’s unbelievable today but he will have the chance to be one of the best for such a long time.”
This has been a breakthrough slam for Tiafoe, who turned 21 on Sunday, but he was simply unable to match the relentless power and consistency of Nadal.
However, his time Down Under will certainly be remembered, not only for his victories and journey to the final eight, but also because of his post-match celebrations.
Tiafoe has made a habit of taking his top off after winning, and showing off his incredible physique.
This new tradition was mentioned by John McEnroe during Nadal's on-court interview, and after being asked if he'd do the same, the Spaniard clearly became a little uncomfortable.
You can watch the interview for yourself below.
At 2:15 in the above video is where McEnroe mentions the post-match celebrations, and despite laughing, it's very clear that Nadal quickly became rather uncomfortable with the direction of the interview.
Maybe stick to the actual tennis next time, John.News Now - Sport News