Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal scripted history on January 30 to become the first man tennis player to win 21 Grand Slam titles.

The Assam Kaziranga University admissions

World No. 5, Rafael Nadal, achieved the feat after defeating Daniil Medvedev in a marathon Australian Open 2022 final in Melbourne on January 30.

Under the lights at Rod Laver Arena, the legendary Spaniard roared back from two-sets-to-love down to overcome the Russian Medvedev 2-6, 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 in an epic five hours and 24 minutes final to win the Australian Open men singles trophy.

With his dramatic victory, Nadal claimed sole ownership of the record for the most men’s singles Grand Slam titles, moving past Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic who are both on 20 major crowns.

The 35-year-old, who also clinched the trophy in Melbourne in 2009, has become just the second player in the Open Era alongside Djokovic to win each of the four majors at least twice. He is also the third-oldest man in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam title after Ken Rosewall and Federer.

“It was one of the most emotional matches of my career,” Nadal said during the trophy ceremony.

“To share the court with Daniil was just an honour. It is amazing. To be honest, one and a half months ago I wasn’t sure if I was able to be back on the Tour playing tennis again. But today I am here in front of all of you with this trophy in front of me. You are just amazing, thank you so much,” he added.

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In a high-quality and physical match that ebbed and flowed, a pumped-up Rafael Nadal showcased his fighting spirit to put water on a red-hot Medvedev performance.

With his back firmly against the wall after the second set, Nadal’s champion mindset shone through as he began to hit through Medvedev with more success in a brutal, heavy-hitting performance to table the turns. He rallied from 2-3, 0/40 on serve in the third set to change the momentum of the match and sealed his win on serve at the second time of asking in the decider.

The World No 5 was aggressive from the baseline throughout, demonstrating great footwork to run around his backhand and dictate with his heavy topspin forehand. The sixth seed fired 67 winners, closed the net effectively to shorten the points and broke seven times to triumph, an atptour.com report said.

Rafael Nadal now leads Medvedev 4-1 in their ATP Head2Head series, with this their second meeting in a Grand Slam final. At the US Open in 2019, Medvedev rallied from two-sets-to-love down before Nadal prevailed in the decider in a Flushing Meadows epic.

“Having the huge support I received over the past three weeks is going to stay in my heart for the rest of my life, so thank you very much,” Rafael Nadal added.

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