'In this generation, Rafael Nadal is the man', says former ATP ace
by SIMONE BRUGNOLI | VIEW 6280
In the first Grand Slam tournament of this 2022, the Australian Open, tennis history was once again made. Spanish champion Rafael Nadal, who returned this month after a long absence due to injury, clinched the tournament win and became the first man in history to win 21 Grand Slam titles in history.
The umpteenth record of an extraordinary career with the Spaniard who has reached records after records not only on clay, but also on other surfaces and in particular here in Australia he won his second Australian Open. With this victory, Rafael Nadal broke away from his great rivals Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, absent for different reasons in Australia and became the main candidate for the GOAT.
What caused a sensation was not only the success but the way in which this success came, an extraordinary comeback victory over the number two in the world and great tournament favorite Daniil Medvedev. The Russian tennis player won the first two sets, he found himself having several break points to close the third set but the Majorcan never gave up and won in five sets quite sensationally.
In Spain, many followed the historic final between the two, yet another match in a fantastic career for the Spanish expert but it was another fact that intrigued all tennis fans. The Barlovento Comunicacion program showed the final on a delayed basis and this also reached record ratings, unexpected if we are talking about a rerun.
As many as 177 thousand people, 12% of the total audience in the Spanish country, saw the match that brought Rafa into the history of this sport. A curious and unexpected record and Nadal has now become the only one to get this record, an unexpected situation thinking only a few months ago with Novak Djokovic who continued to grind victories and both Rafa and Roger Federer struggling with constant injuries.
Nadal has been in exceptional form in 2022
Rafael Nadal's record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title at the 2022 Australian Open has drawn a range of reactions from the tennis fraternity. Fellow players and experts have lauded his titanic effort against Daniil Medevedev in the final.
Former British No. 1 Greg Rusedski is the latest to have put forth his impression on Nadal's win. "Yeah, he's a genetic freak of nature," Rusedski said. "And also, his mental fortitude is second to none. If you wanted one guy playing for your life, one match, Rafa is your man.
I mean, what he's done is sensational." The Brit went on to compare the Spaniard's intensity to that of fellow former World No. 1 Jimmy Connors. "Two sets down, love forty, three, two, we're thinking this is curtains, There's no way he's getting back," Rusedski said.
"But Rafa just showed us the fortitude to fight. Let's not forget that. I mean, that crowd was insane. How much they were behind, Rafa wanting to see history happen as well. So for me, probably his greatest accomplishment in his career," he continued.
"Yes, we can talk about the 13 French Opens, which will never be broken. But this in itself. I don't think I've ever seen anybody as intense since probably Jimmy Connors. In this generation, Rafa is the man."