With two hours and 45 minutes on the clock, Daniil Medvedev forged a 6-2, 7-6, 3-2, 40-0 advantage in the Australian Open final against Rafael Nadal with a backhand down the line winner. In those moments, the Russian was marching towards the finish line, looking good to win back-to-back Major titles.
Facing the fifth consecutive Australian Open final loss, Nadal survived those three break points in the third set's sixth game and started one of his most incredible comebacks in a career. Nadal claimed the third set after breaking the opponent with a backhand down the line winner in game nine and forged an early advantage in the fourth to get back into the match completely.
Rafa held at love in game ten to wrap up the set and force a decider after four hours and 12 minutes. Pushing strong, the Spaniard placed a forehand down the line winner in the final set's fifth game to open a 3-2 gap and take a significant step towards the finish line.
Nadal survived a massive scare in the sixth game after fending off three break points, opening a 4-2 gap and moving closer to the crown. Nadal secured the eighth game to forge a 5-3 advantage and served for the crown in game ten.
Rafael Nadal produced a massive comeback in the Australian Open final.
Medvedev made one last push and broke back to lock the result at 5-5 and extend his chances, still fighting like a lion despite wasting a colossal advantage.
Staying composed, Rafa seized the third break point in the 11th game and sealed the deal on his serve a few minutes later. After the match, the 21-time Major winner admitted he was nervous initially, losing a lot of energy in the opening three sets but keeping a positive mind and believing he could turn the scoreboard around.
"I was nervous when the match started; I have to admit that. There were also heat and humidity, and I started losing energy. I knew I was in a very tough position in the third set. Once I won it, I realized that my level was good and that I could challenge him in the rest of the clash.
It was essential to making a strong start in the fourth set, and I knew I would risk anything to get the victory," Rafael Nadal said.