Nadal took the lead over his longtime rivals by beating a member of the next generation, Daniil Medvedev, in Australian Open final, 2-6, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-4, 7-5.
It was perhaps Nadal’s most unexpected big win. He is 35 years old and has not won a Grand Slam title in 2021 – losing to Djokovic in the semi-finals of the French Open, the tournament in which Nadal was crowned, and then playing only one more tournament in the remainder. back of the season because of chronic foot disease. problem.
There have been discussions with his family, friends and support group about retirement. But Nadal remains one of the big contenders in any sport, and after recovering from the coronavirus in late December, he flew to Australia to retry.
Nearly a month later, he’s still undefeated in Melbourne, winning the warm-up tournament at Rod Laver Arena and then winning the main event by making it through seven rounds in every way and time. details.
He suffered in a hot battle with Denis Shapovalov in Quarterfinals, lost a two-set lead and took a break from treatment before winning five sets. But Sunday’s final was played by lights in the evening.
Nadal has now won all four major tournaments at least twice. He won his victory First Australian Open title in 2009, beat Federer in five sets and then comforted himself when he collapsed during the awards ceremony. But Nadal has often been the one in need of solace in Melbourne ever since.
He has lost four finals in a row with completely different manners. In 2012, Djokovic beat him in a nearly six-hour test of skill and will that left both men struggling to stand as they awaited their titles. In 2017, Federer, playing freestyle as he returned from injury, beat Nadal’s own comeback story by gather from deficit 1-3 in the fifth set.
Then in 2019, Djokovic beat Nadal most deviant failure in his career in a major final, dominating him, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3. Watching that match and knowing Nadal’s history in Melbourne, it seems hard to imagine him winning another Australian Open.
But Nadal has surprised on the court this year, and also surprised himself.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/30/sports/tennis/nadal-medvedev-australian-open.html Rafael Nadal wins Australian Open and his 21st Grand Slam title