Australian Open: Rafael Nadal Savours 'Most Unexpected' Title

By Daily Sports on January 31, 2022

Views: 381

Rafael Nadal hailed his Australian GP title as "the most unexpected" achievement of his illustrious career after a remarkable comeback against Daniil Medvedev clinched a Grand Slam record.

Nadal now holds 21 major titles and has surpassed Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, who were both quick to congratulate the Spaniard on a feat he didn't think was possible amid retirement fears just months before the tournament due to a chronic foot problem.

But Nadal not only made it to Melbourne and the final, he fought back from two sets down against second-seed Medvedev - nearly a decade his junior - to clinch a 2-6 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-3 7-5 win following five hours and 24 minutes of drama.

"The most unexpected, without a doubt," Nadal said of his title after an exhausting and exhilarating match, which finished at 1.11am local time.

"And most surprising I think for everyone."

Nadal, who faded in earlier rounds and was playing in just his 10th match since early August, admitted he was "not ready physically for these kinds of battles" and that he "didn't practice enough to be ready".

But he added: "I gave it everything that I have inside, believe me. I am super, super tired in all ways. I even can't celebrate.

"But today was the day to give everything. I enjoyed the fight. I enjoyed the emotions.

"At the end, to have this trophy with me means everything today."

Incredibly, it was the first time Nadal had recovered from two sets down to win a match since beating Mikhail Youzhny at Wimbledon in 2007.

"The way that I achieved this trophy tonight has been just unforgettable, one of the most emotional matches of my tennis career, without a doubt," he stated. "It means a lot to me."

Medvedev, who was looking to follow up his maiden US Open title by becoming the first man in the Open era to win the next major as well, said his record-breaking opponent was "unreal" after going two sets down.

"He raised his level," said the Russian, 25. "I mean, two sets to love up, I was like, 'c'mon, just go for him, go for more'.

"In the fifth set, I was like, 'make him run'. He was unreal. He was really strong, like the way he played, at four hours I was even surprised.

"But, of course, we know how Rafa can play. He didn't play for six months. He told me after the match that he didn't practice so much. It was unreal." (Sky Sports)

•PHOTO: Nadal

Source Daily Sports

Posted January 31, 2022


 

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