At the brink of defeat, down two sets and facing a triple break point, 35-year-old Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal found it in himself to clinch a dramatic 2-6, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 comeback win in the 2022 Australian Open final, breaking a three-way 20 Grand Slam Title tie between himself, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, for a record-breaking 21.
The finals win against Russian player Daniil Medvedev, which lasted 5 hours, 24 minutes, the second-longest Australian Open final ever, was even more impressive considering Nadal has been sidelined from a chronic foot injury, was playing an opponent a decade younger, and recently recovered from COVID-19 in December.
“It has been one of the most emotional matches in my tennis career and to share the court with you (Medvedev) was an honor,” Nadal said in his post-match interview. “I don’t even know what to say, guys, for me it’s just amazing.
“Being honest, one and a half months ago I didn’t know if I would be back on the tour playing tennis again and today I am here in front of you with the trophy again,” Nadal continued. “You don’t know how much I fought to be here. Thank you so much for the love and support.” Nadal further promises his fans he will do his best to come back next year.
Fans were clearly on the side of Nadal from start to finish with the crowds so vocal that Medvedev urged the chair umpire to tell them to be quiet. “Step up, man. It’s the final of a Grand Slam. Please is not enough,” said Medvedev “They’re idiots. With idiots, please doesn’t work.” A fan was seen running onto the court at one point, and Blom eventually warned the crowd that anyone yelling between serves risked getting escorted out of the game.
Medvedev showed class post-match, however, paying respects to the new Grand Slam title record-holder. “I want to congratulate Rafa,” he said. “What he did today was amazing. You’re an amazing champion.”
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