Rafael Nadal vs Daniil Medvedev: It's completely unexpected, says Spaniard on reaching Australian Open Final

A win over Medvedev will give Nadal a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title. It will help him overtake two of his main competitors - Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

Rafael Nadal in a file photo. (Twitter: @AustralianOpen)

Rafael Nadal is on the cusp of creating tennis history when he takes the court in the Australian Open final on Sunday. A win over Daniil Medvedev will give the Spaniard a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title. It will help him overtake two of his main competitors – Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic – to become the all-time leader in men’s tennis singles Grand Slams. But, for the time being, Nadal is content to have the opportunity to play tennis rather than capture a record 21 Grand Slam titles. After missing the second half of the 2021 season due to a foot injury, Nadal revealed that he is happy to be competing at the highest level again.

“It’s amazing, and I’m super happy to be able to compete for the past three weeks at the level that I am doing,” Nadal said in his post-match press conference after beating Matteo Berrettini in the semifinal. “It’s surprising for me to be able to play at the level that I am playing. Just competing and playing tennis at this high level again, facing the most important players of the world, it’s unbelievable.

READ MORE – Rafael Nadal withstands Matteo Berrettini to reach final

“For me, it’s something completely unexpected, so I am super happy. I always try my best. My goal now is to win. [But] I am taking things in a little bit of a different way now. Of course, with the competitive spirit that I have, I can’t go against that. It’s my personal DNA. But in some ways, [just to] be able to have the chance to compete at this level, it’s positive energy for me to keep going, because being very honest, for me it is much more important to have the chance to play tennis than win number 21.”

Rafael Nadal: Doubts are still here

Before January, the Spaniard had not played at a tour-level event since August in Washington owing to a foot injury. Hence, the 35-year-old had to skip the US Open and Nitto ATP Finals last year. “Doubts are still here,” Nadal said. “Honestly the doubts are going to be here probably for the rest of my career, without a doubt, because I have what I have and that’s something that we cannot fix.

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“Sometimes I went onto court and I was able to practise for only 20 minutes, sometimes 45, sometimes zero, sometimes two hours. But it has been very, very rough in terms of imagining myself playing best-of-five. So, [I am] super happy. It is true that I worked hard for a long time every single day in terms of when I was not able to play tennis I was working hard at the gym. I worked properly, and I kept a positive attitude to give myself a chance to be back.”

Rafael Nadal, who captured his 89th tour-level title at the Melbourne Summer Set earlier this month, is happy to have the opportunity to win his 21st Grand Slam crown. But for now, he is solely focused on the chance of playing in the Australian Open final again.

READ MORE – Here Is Full List of Rafael Nadal’s Grand Slam Achievements

“Yeah, I’m happy that I am going to have a chance [to win a record-breaking 21st slam title]. I just feel happy to be part of this amazing era of tennis, sharing all these things with another two players. But for me, it’s about more than all these statistics. It is about being in the final of the Australian Open one more time. That means a lot to me.”

Sportslumo Desk

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