Rafael Nadal Wins Australian Open and 21st Grand Slam Championship

MELBOURNE, Australia — Rafael Nadal broke the tie with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer by winning the 21st Grand Slam men’s singles title Sunday night.

Nadal beat his longtime rivals Daniil Medvedev, a new generation member, 2-6, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 in the Australian Open final.

It was perhaps Nadal’s most surprising big victory. At 35 and unable to win a Grand Slam title in 2021 – he lost to Djokovic in the semi-finals of the French Open, the tournament where Nadal dominated, and then played only one more tournament for the rest of the season due to his chronic leg. problem.

There were discussions about retirement with his family, friends, and support team. But Nadal remains one of the biggest contenders in any sport and flew to Australia in late December after recovering from the coronavirus. Try again.

Nearly a month later, he had yet to lose a game in Melbourne, won a warm-up tournament at Rod Laver Arena and then won the main event by running seven rounds in all kinds of road and weather conditions.

He suffered in the heat against Denis Shapovalov. quarterfinals, losing a two-set lead and seeking medical treatment off-court before winning in five sets. However, the final on Sunday was played under the lights in the evening.

Nadal has now won all four major tournaments at least twice. its won first Australian Open title In 2009, he defeated Federer in five sets, comforting him when he was down at the awards ceremony. But it has been Nadal who has often needed solace in Melbourne since then.

He lost four straight finals in radically different ways. in 2012 Djokovic beat him In a test of skill and willpower of about six hours, both men struggled to stand as they waited for their trophies. Federer, who played free as he came back from injury in 2017, told Nadal’s own comeback story. 1-3 open rally in the fifth set.

Then in 2019, Djokovic joined Nadal. most unstable defeat He reached the peak of his career in the grand finals of 6-3, 6-2, 6-3. Watching that match and knowing about Nadal’s background in Melbourne, it seemed hard to imagine him winning another Australian Open.

But Nadal has surprised the field this year and surprised himself as well.

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