'Rafael Nadal and I played great match,' says Daniil Medvedev
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 6953
Daniil Medvedev claimed the first Major crown at the last year's US Open following a straight-sets triumph over Novak Djokovic. The Russian had a chance to extend his streak at this year's Australian Open, reaching the final and facing Rafael Nadal in the title clash.
Struggling with a foot injury, Nadal played only two matches in the second part of 2021 and ended the season in August. The Spaniard did not know what to expect at the start of 2022. Still, he decided to travel to Melbourne and give it a go.
Feeling good on the practice court and not thinking about winning trophies, Nadal found his A-game to claim two titles and write history books at the Australian Open.
Rafael Nadal scored a notable victory over Daniil Medvedev in Melbourne.
The Spaniard conquered the season's first Major for the first time since 2009 and earned the record-breaking 21st Major title, leaving Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic on 20.
Rafa passed all the obstacles at the Australian Open to lift the trophy and again prove his everlasting class. The Spaniard stood on the verge of the fifth consecutive defeat in the finals Down Under. He trailed 6-2, 7-6, 3-2, 40-0 against world no.
2 Daniil Medvedev before performing one of his career-best comebacks to cross the finish line first. Rafa scored a 2-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 win in five hours and 24 minutes, prevailing in the second-longest Major final in history!
Nadal was almost done and dusted when he faced those three break points in the third set's sixth game. He overcame that game and gained a massive boost that allowed him to raise his level. 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.
Rafa held at love in game ten to wrap up the set and force a decider after four hours and 12 minutes, firmly believing in a complete comeback. Pushing strong, the Spaniard placed a forehand down the line winner in the decider'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 and secured the eighth game to forge a 5-3 advantage. Medvedev made one last push and broke back in game ten for 5-5, extending his chances and fighting like a lion despite wasting a colossal advantage.
Staying composed and using his vast experience, Rafa seized the third break chance in the 11th game and sealed the deal on his serve a few minutes later for the 21st Major crown.