Rafael nadal wins australian open : “probably the greatest comeback of my tennis career”

After a sensational comeback, Nadal triumphs against Medvedev. Thus it gains its 21. Grand Slam tournament and crowns himself the record holder.

Rafael Nadal prevails in the final of the Australian Open

Rafael Nadal fell to his knees completely exhausted after his epic performance of fight and will. On the historic night in Melbourne, he then held his hands to his face in disbelief. In a rousing final match, the 35-year-old Spaniard won the next title at one of the four most important tournaments, which was almost not thought possible: With 21 victories at Grand Slam events, he is now the sole record holder.

"If we take everything together, the scenario, the momentum, what it means. Without a doubt, it was probably the biggest comeback of my tennis career," said Nadal, who was pushed to his limits by the memorable 5:24 hour match "I’m super, super tired. I can’t even celebrate."

Against Russian US Open champion Daniil Medvedev, he turned a 0-2 set deficit into a 2-6, 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 victory. "Now I am destroyed honestly, physically. I can not think much. I can’t remember many moments in the match," said the Majorcan. Australian tennis icon Rod Laver later congratulated the champion in person in the gym. There Nadal first let himself fall on a mat before he cycled out.

The overtaken rivals Roger Federer and also Novak Djokovic were also among the congratulators via social networks. And in his native Spain, the superlatives found no end: "The best of all time," wrote the sports newspaper "Marca". For "As" Nadal is even the "new god of tennis".

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13 years earlier, he had lifted his only trophy to date at the Australian Open. Now finally the second. Fists up, a kiss with narrowed eyes – this is how Nadal celebrated the triumph. It was certainly his most unexpected success, he said at just before 3 a.m. in the Australian night, with the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup beside him. "I just wanted to believe in it until the end. I just wanted to give myself this chance," said Nadal, whose performance also impressed his Swiss rival Federer.

"What a match!", the 40-year-old wrote on Instagram Story: "A few months ago we were joking about us both being on crutches. Fantastic. Never underestimate a great champion". For his part, Djokovic commented via Twitter, "Fantastic performance." Federer and Djokovic have each won 20 Grand Slam tournaments.

Nadal made a fairytale comeback after his long break due to his foot injury and delivered the second longest final match in tournament history with Medvedev. "I can’t really explain what I’m feeling right now, but I’ll try my best to come back next year," he announced. The importance of 21. Triumph he pushed aside. He doesn’t care if he’s the best in history or not: "For me, it’s about enjoying evenings like tonight."

At the award ceremony Nadal was visibly moved. "It’s one of my most emotional matches in my tennis career – and to share this moment with you, it’s an honor for me," Nadal said to the defeated Medvedev. "This will remain unforgotten and in my heart for the rest of my life," assured the great fighter, also recalling the recent period of uncertainty, which was very hard for him: "To be honest, a month and a half ago I didn’t know if I could come back to the tour," said Nadal, "and now I’m here and I have this trophy."

In the end, Daniil Medvedev loses to Nadal

It was impressive how Nadal rallied against Medvedev, who is ten years younger than him, and how he won the fifth set. The result did not reflect the drama of the match: in the decider, Nadal already led by a break. When he was serving for tennis history at 5:4 with only two points left, he lost his service game. But he took the lead right back – and had it a little later. "I thought he would get tired," said Medvedev.

Between mid-June and early January, Nadal had played only two matches due to his complicated foot problems. With his family, he discussed whether it was time to say goodbye to tennis if his problems didn’t improve.
Now the clay-court dominator has become only the fourth player – along with Djokovic, Rod Laver, Roy Emerson – to win every Grand Slam event at least twice.

In the final match of the tournament, it didn’t matter in the end that Nadal made too many unforced errors in the first two sets. Medvedev was the better player for a long time at first. It seemed he could again spoil the show for one of the stars of the tennis scene.

Nadal is now the fourth pro to win all four Grand Slams twice

Just over four months ago, Medvedev had beaten Djokovic at the US Open in New York to become the 21st champion of the world. title and historic Grand Slam with all four major titles in one year prevented. Cool and defensively strong, the Russian defied the atmosphere in the Rod Laver Arena for a long time, as sympathies were clearly on Nadal’s side.

In the second set, a person protesting Australia’s refugee policy on the court briefly disrupted the match, but was quickly stopped by security guards. From the end of the third set, Nadal turned up the heat and generated more power. Medvedev, on the other hand, deviated a little from his line and also lost his cool.

More on the topic

Rafael Nadal in the final of the Australian Open For the love of tennis

Rafael Nadal is jubilant about his entry into the final of the Australian Open. There he can win his 21st Grand Slam title

In the meantime, the Russian argued with referee John Blom about spectators being disturbed by shouts and had his thigh massaged and treated. The 2019 US Open final between the two had already developed into a thrilling duel over five sets, back then Nadal had led by two sets and only won in the decisive set at the end. (dpa)

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