'Biggest Comeback of My Tennis Career': Rafael Nadal Hails Record-Breaking Win in Australia

© AP Photo / Hamish BlairRafael Nadal of Spain embraces the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup after defeating Daniil Medvedev of Russia in the men's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, early Monday, Jan. 31, 2022.
Rafael Nadal of Spain embraces the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup after defeating Daniil Medvedev of Russia in the men's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, early Monday, Jan. 31, 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 31.01.2022
Subscribe
US
India
Global
Spanish tennis great Rafael Nadal became the first man to claim 21 Grand Slam titles after defeating World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open final on Sunday. The 35-year-old is only the third player after Novak Djokovic and Rod Laver to win all four Slams at least twice in their career.
Former World No. 1 Rafael Nadal has declared his Australian Open victory as the "biggest comeback of his tennis career" after he returned from the brink against US Open champion Daniil Medvedev to capture an unprecedented 21st Grand Slam title at Melbourne Park during the weekend.
After the second seed bagged the first two sets, Nadal was staring down the barrel and on the verge of defeat.
But when it looked like doomsday had struck the Majorcan, he mounted a comeback of mammoth proportions to eventually stun the Russian, 2-6, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 in the second longest Grand Slam final ever, which lasted exactly five hours and 24 minutes on the match clock.
"If we put everything together, the scenario, the momentum, what it means. Yeah, without a doubt probably have been the biggest comeback of my tennis career", Nadal said.
"The most unexpected, without a doubt and most surprising I think for everyone. For you guys, too. For me personally", he added.
Even by his own standards, Nadal's triumph down under would rank among the very best in the sport, considering that at one point, even his participation in the tournament wasn't certain.
The King of Clay had not picked up a racquet in the last six months after his French Open loss to Djokovic. Later a foot injury put question marks over whether he would be able to play ever again.
But Nadal weathered the storm and kept working on his fitness, eventually giving himself another chance to play tennis. However, another setback was in the offing as he tested positive for COVID-19, denying him the much needed match play before the Grand Slam of the Asia Pacific in Melbourne.

On the other hand, former World No. 1 and multiple Grand Slam champion Jim Courier echoed the same sentiments as Nadal before dubbing him as "super human".

"The guy two months ago didn't know if he would ever be able to play on the Tour again. He and his team were so concerned about his foot and then he goes and plays an exhibition in Abu Dhabi just to get some matches and gets COVID in December.
"That guy is super human", the American said.
However, the most effusive praise for Nadal came from arch-rival and good friend Federer, who not only congratulated him for his 21st Grand Slam title, but also disclosed that his relentless attitude and never-say-die spirit have always inspired him.

"What a match! To my friend and great rival Rafael Nadal, heartfelt congratulations on becoming the first man to win 21 grand slam singles titles", Federer wrote on his Instagram stories.

"A few months ago we were joking about both being on crutches. Amazing. Never underestimate a great champion. Your incredible work ethic, dedication and fighting spirit are an inspiration to me and countless others around the world", the Swiss maestro concluded.
Newsfeed
0
To participate in the discussion
log in or register
loader
Chats
Заголовок открываемого материала