Rafael Nadal: 'I'm physically destroyed, it's been a very emotional night'
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 6551
Ten years ago, Rafael Nadal wasted the advantage in the deciding set of the Australian Open final and lost it to Novak Djokovic after five hours and 53 minutes! On Sunday, Rafa played the second most extended Major final on Rod Laver Arena, avoiding his fate from a decade ago and lifting the second Australian Open crown at 35!
Nadal came from the verge of defeat to earn a 2-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 victory over world no.2 Daniil Medvedev in five hours and 24 minutes. Rafa was almost done and dusted, wasting his chances in the second set and playing against three break chances at 2-3 in the third.
In a manner of a true champion, Nadal saved those, claimed the third set and started one of his most impressive comebacks in a career. The Spaniard grabbed the fourth set and prevailed in the decider to lift the trophy and write history books as the only player with 21 Major crowns on his tally!
After the match, the veteran admitted he was physically destroyed after a brutal fight, remembering almost nothing from the encounter and trying to recover. Nadal made a terrible start to the match and lost ground to Medvedev in the opener.
The Spaniard served for the second set but could not bring it home, as Daniil stole it in the tie break to forge a massive advantage. Heading towards his fifth Australian Open final loss, Rafa survived three break points in the third set's sixth game to gain an enormous boost.
Nadal claimed 12 of the last 15 points to take the set 6-4 and improve his chances.
Rafael Nadal defeated Daniil Medvedev in the second longest Major final.
The more experienced player broke twice in a row in the fourth set to control the scoreboard, saved two break points in the eighth game and clinched it with a hold at love in game ten to force a decider after four hours and 12 minutes.
Giving his 120% to perform a complete turnaround, Rafa landed a forehand down the line winner at 2-2 to break the rival and served for the title at 5-4. Medvedev refused to surrender and pulled the break back to stay in contention before experiencing another setback in game 11.
Rafa made no mistakes this time around, producing a hold at love at 6-5 to seal the deal and become a proud owner of the 21st Major trophy. "It has been a very emotional night. To tell you the truth, I'm physically destroyed, honestly. I can not think much or remember many moments from the match," Rafael Nadal said.