The final of the Australian Open 2021 has disappointed the expectations of fans and insiders. The possibility of yet another Novak Djokovic triumph was in the order of things, but few would have imagined a similar lesson for Daniil Medvedev.
The young Russian had expressed great tennis over the two weeks and was considered a favorite by some bookmakers to score his first career Grand Slam. The uncertainty lasted only until 5-5 of the first set, when Nole raised the level leaving the misery of four games to his rival in the next two halves.
The world number 1 won his ninth title at Melbourne Park, the third in a row, as well as coming within two points of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the Grand Slam standings. In an article written in the newspaper 'El Pais', Toni Nadal expressed his point of view on the men's final.
Even Rafa's uncle could not help but note the overwhelming superiority of 'Djoker'
Toni Nadal on the 2021 Australian Open final
"What was envisioned to be an entertaining, tough and competitive Grand Slam final between Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev was, in reality, a little-disputed and low-brilliance matchup in which the Serb was clearly superior," Toni Nadal wrote.
"The game was practically sentenced with the break in the 12th game of the first set," Toni Nadal added. "Until that moment, we had seen a scoreboard that equally distributed the merits, as well as different changes in strategy by the two tennis players.
They had been combining patient exchanges to prepare the point well with moments of greater aggressiveness, seeking the immediate resolution of the goal." Toni Nadal believes Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev are players of a similar mold, given that both are predominantly defensive-oriented who can also expertly pull the trigger when needed.
"In fact, the Russian and the Serbian have similar characteristics," Toni Nadal continued. "They are almost impregnable from the back of the court, they have an admirable defense capacity and a counterattack that, most of the time, is definitive."
The 59-year-old feels Daniil Medvedev would be ruing his poor display against Novak Djokovic, since it was a great opportunity to win his first Major. "I'm sure Daniil Medvedev came out to the Rod Laver Arena with all the information about Novak Djokovic well analyzed, but he was not able to retain his poise, to overcome the frustration of delivering the first set, or to keep up the fight in those difficult moments," Toni Nadal explained.
"It surprises me that, sometimes, athletes of this level have that little capacity to overcome difficulty. I imagine that once the match was over, the Russian realized the missed opportunity and the little resistance he exhibited."