After defeating Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open 2022 final and winning the 21st Grand Slam title of his extraordinary career, Rafael Nadal has finally returned to Spain to hug family and friends. The Spanish champion has overtaken Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the fight for Grand Slam primacy by performing a true feat.
Indeed, Nadal had to deal with the usual problem with his left foot in the second half of 2021 and his presence at the Australian Open was anything but obvious. The Mallorcan did everything to be there and won the Australian Open for the second time, recovering from a difference of two sets to love.
Nadal held an extraordinary press conference in Manacor; a conference in which he spoke about the Grand Slam record and his incredible journey. "I was very nervous before the final. The stakes for me were really high. My preparation for the tournament was upset.
I had too many problems, I couldn't train well. Then I tested positive for Covid-19 and had to spend 10 days indoors. In the least expected edition, the right circumstances were given, I played with confidence and maximum enthusiasm.
At key moments, luck was on my side. I think of the match with Shapovalov, when I got heat stroke. I didn't expect to feel so good from a physical point of view." Nadal then focused on the upcoming matches and the 21st Grand Slam title.
“You have to see how my body responds. I have to play Acapulco and Indian Wells."
Mouratoglou reflects on Nadal
Renowned coach Patrick Mouratoglou recently listed the key factors behind Rafael Nadal's sensational comeback in the final of the 2022 Australian Open.
"I think everybody saw him lose this match. He was dominated, he was extremely nervous, he was missing much more than usual," Mouratoglou said on Instagram. "I think everyone will agree his number one quality is resilience and love for the fight.
He loves the fight, he loves it when it's tough, where most players don't like those moments, he loves them," Mouratoglou added. "That's where he feels alive and himself. And that made his career." The Frenchman also asserted that Medvedev was beginning to doubt his own abilities as the match wore on and that was the "turning point" of the match.
"He started to use a lot of slices... to bring Medvedev to the net, where he won important points. The fact that he won points in situations when Medvedev was supposed to win... made him doubt a lot," Mouratoglou said. "That was the turning point, the key. To bring Medvedev in a situation where he was uncomfortable, to make him miss kind of easy shots."
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