Dubai: Dominic Thiem caused a major upset in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open as he dumped out top seed and world No. 1 Rafael Nadalin four sets 7-6, 7-6, 4-6, 7-6.
The Austrian youngster, 26, will face a fellow future hope Alexander Zverev, 22, in the semis in stark contrast to the other final-four clash which sees veterans Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic face off.
It was the first time in six years of trying that Thiem had defeated Nadal in a Grand Slam and with it he booked his maiden Australian Open semi-final.
It may finally signal a changing of the guard as Thiem and Zverev will be full of confidence of reaching the final and going up against either second seed Djokovic or third seed Federer.
Thiem ended Nadal's bid for a record-equalling 20th Grand Slam title and will be full of confidence against the German Zverev -who defeated Stan Wawrinka to make the semis - on Friday.
Thiem became only the second Austrian to reach the last four at Melbourne Park, following Thomas Muster's runs in 1989 and 1997.