Australian Open: Stefanos Tsitsipas v Rafael Nadal preview

Stefanos Tsitsipas smiles in his news conference
Stefanos Tsitsipas' previous best tournament performance was a fourth-round appearance at Wimbledon in 2018
Australian Open 2019
Venue: Melbourne Park. Dates: 14-27 January
Coverage: Daily live commentaries on the BBC Sport website, listen to Tennis Breakfast daily from 08:00 GMT on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and watch highlights on BBC TV and online.

Greek youngster Stefanos Tsitsipas feels he "can do something good" against 17-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal in Thursday's Australian Open semi-final.

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.

However, Spain's Nadal, 32, has not dropped a set in Melbourne.

But the second seed conceded: "Stefanos is ready to win against everybody."

The pair meet on Rod Laver Arena at 08:30 GMT, with live coverage on the BBC Sport website and BBC Radio 5 live.

The women's semi-final between Czech eighth seed Petra Kvitova and unseeded American Danielle Collins takes place from 03:00, with the last-four match between US Open champion Naomi Osaka and Czech seventh seed Karolina Pliskova following on Rod Laver Arena.

'I promised myself I'd do better against Nadal'

Stefanos Tsitsipas has been well supported in Greece
Stefanos Tsitsipas has been well supported in Greece

Nadal has not dropped a set as he aims to become the first man to win each of the four Grand Slams twice in the Open era.

The former world number one has reached at least the quarter-finals in 11 of his past 12 appearances at Melbourne Park, although he has only managed to convert one of those runs into victory, in 2009.

In contrast, Tsitsipas only made his first appearance in the main draw here last year and lost in the first round.

The 14th seed has risen sharply up the rankings over the past year, winning his first ATP title in October and then going on to claim the Next Gen finals - the season-ending tournament for the best players aged under 21 - the following month.

Tsitsipas has faced Nadal twice before, losing to him on the Spaniard's favoured clay surface in the Barcelona Open final last May and then again in the Rogers Cup final in August.

"I felt very close to beating him in Toronto, though the score was 6-2 7-6," Tsitsipas said.

"I remember coming back to the locker room and promising to myself I'm going to do much better against him next time.

"It felt like I understood a bit better what he was doing on the court after that match, and especially on hard court.

"It's going to be interesting. I feel like I can do something good against him."

The winner will play either top seed Novak Djokovic or France's Lucas Pouille, who meet on Friday, in Sunday's men's final.

'Going to university made me hungrier'

Danielle Collins in action
Danielle Collins is the only unseeded player left in the singles

Unseeded American Collins is another first-time Grand Slam semi-finalist, having never won in the main draw at a major before the tournament.

The 25-year-old from Florida, who is ranked 35 in the world, took a different route to the top by going to university where she studied media and business.

She says not being a "child prodigy" has made her "hungrier" for success.

"Not being a superstar at a young age certainly humbled me, made me in a way work harder for things," she said.

"I think I was talented and athletic, but maybe not to the level that other players were at, like, 14, 15, 16.

"I wasn't really sure if I could make it playing professional tennis when I was that age.

"Going to college was really crucial for me and my development."

Kvitova, 28, has reached the first semi-final of what she calls her "second career" - after being stabbed with a knife in an attack during a robbery at her home in 2016.

"I always wanted to come back and play at the highest level I can, compete with the best, play the Grand Slams, and actually be very deep in the Grand Slam," she said.

"It is happening. It wasn't easy to see myself in a semi-final after everything.

"I think I'm seeing life little bit differently compared to before."

I'm happy to play two days in a row - Pliskova

Karolina Pliskova in action
Karolina Pliskova is one of three players who could end the Australian Open as world number one

Unlike Kvitova and Collins, Pliskova and Osaka are not afforded a day off between their quarter-finals and Thursday's semi-finals.

Pliskova, 26, needed more than two hours to beat 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams in an extraordinary last-eight match on Wednesday.

"I'm happy that I finally play two days in a row. I like it," she said.

"Naomi is dangerous. But I don't think there is somebody more dangerous than Serena."

Fourth seed Osaka, 22, reached the semi-finals of a Slam for the first time on her way to victory at the US Open, backing that up with a repeat run in Melbourne.

"This is something that I have been working on a lot, trying to get deeper in tournaments more consistently," she said.

"Now that I won a Grand Slam, I feel like I want to win another one. I'm so close and I just want to keep going."

Another interesting sub-plot to the women's semi-finals sees Kvitova, Pliskova and Osaka all battling to replace Romania's Simona Halep as world number one.

One of them is guaranteed to end her 48-week stint, although the picture will become clearer who it will be after the semi-finals.

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