The #NextGenATP Greek star had beaten six-time former champion Roger Federer in the fourth round, and insisted prior to facing Nadal that he'd learn a lot from his final losses to the Spaniard past year at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell and the Rogers Cup in Toronto.
"I was sat watching the match with one of the other coaches and he caught me shaking my head, and I just said 'I don't know how he does it!'".
It was the same straight-set, no-contest treatment Nadal gave to 19-year-old Alex de Minaur in the third round and 21-year-old Frances Tiafoe in the quarter-finals.
Should Tsitsipas reach Sunday's final, he would be 59 days younger than Cyprus fan-favourite Marcos Baghdatis was when he battled his way to the final 13 years ago. After losing serve in the ninth game of the second set, the Greek swiftly faded away. However, it wasn't to be, Federer grabbing his seventh Grand Slam crown from as many finals.
Tsitsipas, 20, beat Swiss great Roger Federer in the last 16, then reached his first major semi-final with victory over Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut. He had pulled the plug in that too, retiring mid-way through the semi-finals against Juan Martin Del Potro. It's something he expected to achieve in 2019 - just not this early.
Gone is the man who tried to play gruelling clay-court tennis on hard, Nadal 2.0 looks to kill points quickly with his deadly ball striking. "It felt like I understood a bit better what he was doing on the court after that match, and especially on hard court". Though he survived that game, Tsitsipas couldn't quite prise open the absolute hold Nadal kept on the match.
"I was a little bit anxious, of course, because there has been issue after issue", 2009 champion Nadal told reporters of his nervous tournament lead-up. "I'm calling it as my second career".
"Rafa brings something to tennis that has never been seen before, never been done". We withdrew from doubles. "I felt kind of empty in my brain, which is unusual, because I never feel like this when I'm in the match". I will actually thank him later that he left to Cyprus.
"Naomi is risky. But I don't think there is somebody more unsafe than Serena". This why the "changing of the guard" narrative after Tsitsipas' win over Federer made little sense.
Nadal said the Greek had a bright future ahead of him. First night was tough to process.
"Then you have to compete, you have to win matches, because after a while without competing it is always a challenge".
"Slept less than six hours". It's true that I try to improve during all my career all the things.