To collect this historic 21st victory, Nadal (No. 6) needed five sets, 5 hours and 24 minutes against Russian Daniil Medvedev (No. 2), who finally defeated him 2-6, 6-7 (5/7), 6-4 6-4 and 7-5.
At the age of 35, Nadal now tops Roger Federer (20) and Novak Djokovic (20), expelled from Australia before the tournament began, at the top of the rankings for the number of wins in major tournaments.
In the minutes after his victory, Nadal received congratulations from Djokovic who sent him the following tweet on his Twitter account:
Huge achievement! Once again, this marvelous martial spirit managed to impose itself. Medvedev gave all his playing with the passion and determination we are used to.
congratulations for @Rafael Nadal for 21 GS. Amazing achievement. Always an impressive fighting spirit reigned once again. Enhorabuena 👏🏆👍 Lord save her He did everything he could there and played with the passion and determination we’ve come to expect of him. pic.twitter.com/DsOvK8idNc
– Novak Djokovic (DjokerNole) January 30 2022
Not to be outdone by Federer, he pretty much echoed the same sentiment on Instagram.
What a game ! Sincere congratulations to my friend and great rival @rafaelnadal for becoming the first man to win 21 Grand Slam titles., saw the Swiss, who was unable to participate in the Australian championship this year, is still recovering after knee surgery.
« It’s great, you should not underestimate the great heroes. Your great work ethic, dedication and fighting spirit are a huge inspiration to me and many players. »
Thirteen of Nadal’s great titles have been won on clay by Roland Garros, his favorite surface.
He also has four titles at the US Open and two at Wimbledon. This win in Melbourne is the second of his career in six final matches, and his first since 2009.
« This cup will remain in my heart forever. This is madness! A month and a half ago, I didn’t know if I would play again. There I raise this cup. You can’t imagine all the work it took to get there. »
It’s one of the matches that has given me the most emotion in my career, and to share it with you (Daniel Medvedev, editor’s note), it’s an honorHe said, the Russians promised that he would raise
This trophy is undoubtedly multiple times in his career.
The level was insane…During the match I was playing but then I asked him, “Aren’t you a little tired though?”Medvedev was first reported, the unfortunate finalist.
Though deeply disappointed, Medvedev ended his sometimes tense confrontation with the Australian public on a note of humor.
Usually, my wife in Box…there, I think at this time our TV should be broken!
Facing Medvedev, Nadal once again indulged his resources to make up for a shortfall in two sets.
Earlier this week, in the quarter-finals, Nadal had resisted a push by Canadian Denis Shapovalov To win also in five rounds. Mallorca’s record is 24-13 in their five-set duels, compared to Medvedev’s 3-8.
His 36 unintentional fouls in the first two rounds, Nadal seemed to be heading for a disappointing result. But a left thigh injury hampered Medvedev’s progress.
Even the multiple interventions of the healer did not allow the Russians to regain all their faculties. With him deprived of this essential support, Medvedev’s service immediately lost its sting.
The last group alone was the scene of an epic battle, as Medvedev shrugged off the pain to throw his last effort onto the field.
But Nadal turned things around and engraved his name in gold letters in the modern-day tennis ledger.
Nadal also became the second player in the modern era, and the fourth in history, to win at least two times in each of the four Grand Slams. A feat that Djokovic achieved last year when he won the Roland Garros Championship for the second time.
Three best-performing women in tennis history: Margaret Court (24 major titles), Serena Williams (23) and Stevie Graf (22).
This Melbourne final between Medvedev and Nadal was a repeat of the one the Spaniard won in five sets at the US Open in 2019.
This year, Medvedev could benefit from the experience of two more finals in 2021: one losing at Rod Laver Arena against Djokovic and the other beating New York’s Arthur Ashe against the Serbian himself.
Nadal could feel the difference right away. After three initially close matches, the Russian clearly had the upper hand in the first set. The Spaniard tried everything: lengthening the exchanges, shortening them, going to the net, playing short, long … Nothing could destabilize Medvedev, who easily won this introduction.
In the second set, which lasted 84 minutes, the Russian lost his serving ability and found himself under pressure. Nadal had two breaks, but his opponent came back at 5-5. Both men came to the tiebreak, with Medvedev wrapped up on his first chance.
To stay in the game, Nadal – who is recovering from a foot injury that cost him six months of competition last year as well as a COVID-19 infection – was doomed to hit every point. At the start of the second set, lining allowed him to win a point after exchanging 40 rounds.
In the next set, he saved three break points to come back at 3-3. He took his opponent’s serve to lead 5-4 and serve for the group. He concluded with a furious forehand hit down the line.
Then the Spaniard broke the decisive break in the fourth set to advance 3-2 and then equalized the odds in the match.
The decisive round led to an ongoing battle. After breaking for a 3-2 lead, Nadal joined at 5-5 as he served up the match and was just two points away from winning.
Medvedev lost his match again on serve and this time Nadal was able to finish the match.
Lifting the curtain on the final day at Rod Laver Arena, Czechs Barbora Krejsikova and Katerina Siniakova won the women’s doubles final, adding their fourth Grand Slam title to their joint record.
Last year in Melbourne, they beat Kazakh Anna Danielina and Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 6-4 in the final.
Since they started playing together in 2016, Krizhikova and Synyakova have also won tournaments at Roland Garros (2018 and 2021) and Wimbledon (2018).
Kryzhikova also won the French Open in singles last year.
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