Rafael Nadal made the impossible in the most thriller of the Australian Open finals, beating Daniil Medvedev after five epic sets, after losing the first two sets, winning the 21st Grand Slam of an immense career, putting Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic behind.
Few stories: at the moment the GOAT is Rafael Nadal. And today the daily recap on the falling curtain of the Happy Slam is everything for him, Rafa, the man of the impossible. Only Gaston Gaudio on the land of Bois de Boulogne in 2004 had managed to recover a disadvantage of two sets in one act-last, only three players had won with more years on him.
An unthinkable feat for the Spaniard rewinding the tape six months ago or simply at the end of the third set today. Nadal, a character incredibly reluctant to defeat, on the threshold of five hours and thirty of play, joins the twenty-first career Slam with a Hollywood-style epilogue.
He breaks away from Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, just as the Serbian becomes the second player in history to win at least twice all the Majors, among other things he returns to win the same tournament after thirteen years and reaches ninety in the circuit greater.
Nadal interprets the challenge in a practically perfect way, even when the Russian (in search of the brace after the New York success) seems to have more. Even when one step away from victory, after a furious comeback, he regains the strength to recover the break and to avoid the tie break.
The 2-6 6-7 (5) 6-4 6-4 6-4 is a manifesto. We don't know how it will end: we do know, however, that before Roland Garros Nadal will have more Grand Slams than anyone else. Nadal manages to make the passive acceptable in the first set of instinct alone.
Needless to say, he saves himself from the advantages in the first round of bat and recovers from an almost desperate situation of 0-30 when the scoreboard indicates an even game. The son, moreover, of a splendid backhand line from Medvedev, a blow that procures an avalanche of certainties as per protocol.
At practically lost point Nadal is saved with a straight leg and in the fifteen immediately following in a completely Federerian way he covers the net to perfection. The very Spanish champion - helped little by the first ball - tries not to concede reference points from the baseline, but struggles to open corners with the forehand and above all to find certainty with a strong shot.
Medvedev - who almost completely eliminates the unforced errors from the project - catches the 0-30 again with an incredible reading with the backhand near the net and delivers the first decisive push. Nadal tries with rather modest results to shorten the number of prolonged exchanges: the result is a new break (this time to fifteen) that the Russian consolidates without particular difficulties.
Like a bolt from the blue, Medvedev piles up two rather trivial errors with the backhand out of the serve in the fourth game and even finds himself on 15-40. An extraordinary defense by Nadal, who gets rid of a grueling arm wrestling from the back line with an incredibly short backhand variation on the left diagonal and who at the second useful opportunity (after an ace) places the first break of his game.
The serve does not prove to be a sufficiently valid travel companion for the Spaniard, on the contrary, he grants a moment of respite only on the way to the 4-1. Medvedev, who recovers the gap of disadvantage without particular difficulties, loses quantity with the first ball and allows Nadal to enter the exchange with more continuity.
Simple, but not always effective, the Majorcan's plan: forced to keep the rhythms slower, to constantly look for the Russian's forehand with the slice and to accelerate in a rather thoughtful way. After the break, the number six of the group probably has the biggest chance to get a seemingly scored game back on its feet.
At 15-40 he is saved with the serve & volley scheme, in the next fifteen he also adds the forehand. Despite some trivialities from the left, evidently dictated by the lack of strength in the lower part of the body, he manages to hold on to the score and fight back with the serve (which works little and badly) but on the third parity he stains the notebook with a backhand error on the field open.
Even if he gets a set point, the Majorcan is unable to avoid the counterbreak. The 6-6 turns out to be a logical consequence. Medvedev, who starts with a rather gross error, launches without too much conviction near the net and fails to organize the volley on Nadal's second passer-by.
Conditioned by a free with the forehand in the moment of escape. The Spaniard, who puts his head back forward thanks to a flickering at the foot of the serve rectangle, regains a point of advantage. In the moment of maximum difficulty, the Russian pinches Nadal unprepared at the net and with a defeat (Pic by AO Twitter page)