Hardly anyone imagined that Rafael Nadal would leave Melbourne with the Australian Open trophy in hand. The Spanish champion, fresh from a long stop due to injury, wrote yet another page in tennis history last Sunday. The former world number 1 has in fact reassembled Daniil Medvedev two sets in the Happy Slam final, demonstrating a resilience that has very few equals in modern sport.
Thanks to this success, the Majorcan conquered his 21st Major by overtaking Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the all-time ranking. The Swiss has been stopped since last Wimbledon and will not be back on the pitch before the summer, while the Serbian was unable to defend his AO title due to the well-known events.
The 34-year-old from Belgrade was expelled from the country the day before the tournament began, thanks to the discretion exercised by the Minister of Immigration Alex Hawke. In a long interview granted to 'The Age', Greg Rusedski analyzed in detail the prospects of the Big 3.
Nole's choice not to get vaccinated could affect her entire season, waiting to understand the evolution of the pandemic situation.
Rusedski opens up on the Big 3
"I always said that Novak Djokovic would end up with more Grand Slams and I still think the same.
He is the best. The only place where Roger Federer is dangerous is Wimbledon and we don't know how he will be physically. Possibly Rafael Nadal will win the 22nd Grand Slam at Roland Garros," said Rusedski. "I think Djokovic will accept the challenge and try to win Wimbledon and the US Open however he can.
We could easily finish 2022 with Nole and Rafa with 22 Grand Slams. We'll see what happens, but I think Djokovic will finish with more major titles," added the former World No. 4 player. Calling Nadal a "superhuman," Rusedski lauded him for his brilliant comeback in the finals and stressed that the Spaniard "never gives up" on the court.
"It has been without a doubt the greatest achievement that Nadal has achieved in his sports career. It was an incredible final, one of the best Grand Slam finals in the history of tennis, not only because of its historical importance, but also because of the quality and intensity for more than five hours," mentioned Rusedski.
"He had only won one Australian Open during his entire career, and very few thought he would win the tournament and what is more surprising, having won the title 21 before Djokovic. Nadal is that guy who never gives up. He's superhuman from a mental point of view," concluded the former British No. 1 player.