Australian Open final: It’s the biggest comeback of my career, says Rafael Nadal

The final scoreline read 2-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 on Rod Laver Arena, as the Spaniard became the first man to win 21 Grand Slam singles titles.

Rafael Nadal in action at the Australian Open. (Twitter: @AustralianOpen)

Rafael Nadal showed tremendous fighting spirit to stage an unlikely fightback from two sets down to beat Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open final on Sunday. The final scoreline read 2-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 on Rod Laver Arena, as the Spaniard became the first man to win 21 Grand Slam singles titles. The previous best was 20 titles, which was first reached by Roger Federer, but soon Nadal and Novak Djokovic leveled it. Notably, the ‘King of Clay’ has not played a singles match since the Citi Open last August due to a left foot injury until this month, when he won the Melbourne Summer Set trophy. With the Australian Open success, he has made it two in two for 2022.

“If we put everything together, the scenario, the momentum, what it means…yeah, [it’s] probably the biggest comeback of my tennis career,” said the Spaniard in his post-match press conference. “At the end, history is about the victory, but the way that you win the match in terms of personal feelings is different. The way that I achieved this trophy tonight was just unforgettable, one of the most emotional matches of my tennis career, without a doubt. [It] means a lot to me.”

READ MORE – Rafael Nadal trumps Daniil Medvedev in classic to win 21st Grand Slam

Rafael Nadal: Wanted to give myself a chance

At one point, Nadal was 0/40 down on his own serve with the Russian up two sets and leading 3-2 in the third set. “In that moment, of course, the situation was critical,” said Nadal. “But sport is unpredictable. The normal thing is to lose the match in straight sets from that situation. On the other hand, I had a big chance in the second [set] too.

“I was repeating to myself during the whole match, I lost a lot of times here [in Melbourne] having chances, sometimes I was a little bit unlucky. I just wanted to keep believing until the end. I just wanted to give myself a chance.

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“That’s what I did. Just fight, just keep belief in trying to find a solution. Of course, I was lucky to save that moment. [There were] a lot of moments that can decide the final like this.”

Praising Medvedev, Nadal said, “I think Daniil is a great champion. He accepted the loss very well and I can say thanks because it’s a very hard night for him. I know how tough it is to be in that position.”

‘Unforgettable day’

Opening up on winning his 21st Grand Slam title, Nadal explained, “It’s amazing to achieve another Grand Slam at this moment of my career,” said the Spaniard. “Of course, I know it’s a special number, 21. I know what it means, but from my point of view today is an unforgettable day…I feel lucky to achieve one more very special thing in my tennis career.

“I really believe that I hold a very positive spirit. For the last six months, I really fought a lot to try to be back on court…[There] have been very tough moments because you don’t know if you’re going to have the chance. I feel honoured.”




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