Rafael Nadal has entered even more tennis history today. After a crazy comeback, the 35-year-old Majorcan tennis player beat world number two in five sets and won the twenty-first Grand Slam title in his extraordinary career.
Thanks to this success, Nadal is the first to reach 21 titles and in this special ranking stands Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. In the press conference Nadal dealt with many issues and also commented on the eternal duel that sees him face the other two for the history of this sport.
Nadal started at the conference: "What does it mean to have more titles than Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic? Obviously I am not hiding, I want to stay up there and be the one with the most Grand Slams. This is sport, it is competition and I am very competitive.
I want to end up with more titles than all the others, but I would like to say that this is not an obsession for me. I've always tried to win more titles than anyone else, but if someone wins more than me, I can't help but accept it.
Regardless of who will win the most titles, I believe that each of us has made our dreams come true and has exceeded all expectations." The Majorcan champion, fresh from one of the most important and exciting successes of his career, then continued: "I really enjoyed this match, it was a real battle and to have the trophy now here with me is fantastic.
I am really very happy. Was it one of the greatest businesses ever? It is not for me to say, it is not for me to judge all this. I am aware of the difficulties I have had to face in this process and I have worked hard to be able to aspire to win another Grand Slam."
Nadal became the first man to lift 21 Grand Slam titles in singles
Tim Henman joined his colleague Mats Wilander in praising Rafael Nadal's achievement, which came about four months after the Spaniard was forced to call off his 2021 season due to a serious foot injury.
The former pro also alluded to how the 21-time Major winner had tested COVID-19 positive before flying into Melbourne. “I can’t quite get my head around it given the last six months for Rafa having not played much coming into this event and all the circumstances he faced prior to the tournament.
The resilience, he was down two sets to love, I thought he was cooked and he finds a way to keep on fighting and coming back. We thought the younger guy and the longer match was going to play into Medvedev’s hands, it was just incredible to see.
Rafa is able to stay in the moment. There is no point thinking about the final when you are in the second round, you’ve got to take it step-by-step. In the second set, Nadal had so many opportunities and he didn’t win it so you are thinking he’s down two sets to love and there is just no way back.
I think part of his mindset is that he doesn’t think of the fifth set when he’s in the third set. He started to build those bridges, he started to get more energy as the match went on. With the crowd support, they were just driving him to the finish line”.