In an Australian Open final for the ages, Rafael Nadal won a record-breaking 21st grand slam title against Daniil Medvedev.
The Spaniard passed the previous men’s record of 20 he held jointly with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, the latter of whom was denied entry after having his visa revoked.
Nadal had been doubted that he would even be able to play at the Australian Open after missing the second half of 2021 with a foot injury.
He returned to action at the Melbourne Summer Set tournament at the beginning of January, winning his first ATP title since May 2021.
After beating Matteo Berrettini in the Australian Open semifinal, Rafael Nadal said he was just glad to be back on the court after being sidelined by injuries for several weeks.
Nadal lay exhausted on the floor after five and a half hours of intense competition, but he proved he was not only capable of competing at grand slams, but he could realistically win several more.
Nadal fights back
In the second set, Nadal desperately needed to try something different; Medvedev was hitting the ball harder and more cleanly and seemed to be the favorite to win each point.
In the second set, Lopez began with a relatively comfortable hold of serve, perhaps his only one of the match thus far. He celebrated with a shout of “si” and a fist pump towards his box.
Medvedev’s next service game gave Nadal his first break of the match — and he had to earn it.
Nadal ended a mammoth 40-shot rally with a sliced backhand that Medvedev couldn’t touch to open up a 15-40 lead and eventually break serve with his second breakpoint to go 3-1 up.
To the dismay of the boisterous crowd on Rod Laver, Medvedev held his own serve before breaking Nadal back — much to the delight of the boisterous crowd.
Nadal broke Medvedev’s serve again to take a 5-3 lead and give himself the chance to serve for the second set.
A man apparently attempted to jump onto the court after an incident in the stands forced security guards onto the court to surround the two players.