'Rafael Nadal is a historic player for our sport', says expert

Rafael Nadal always amazes with his dedication and his hunger for victories

by Simone Brugnoli
'Rafael Nadal is a historic player for our sport', says expert

Rafael Nadal played two five-set finals at the Australian Open in the last five years. The Spaniard suffered a close loss to Roger Federer in 2017 despite going a break up in the final set. Two great rivals met in their first Major final since Roland Garros 2011.

After three hours and 38 minutes, Federer prevailed 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, erasing an early deficit in the decider to emerge on top and win his first Major crown in years. Rafa kept the advantage in the ninth game of the fourth set and took the lead in the last.

The Spaniard saved a break point to open a 3-1 gap, but instead of holding it, he squandered a game point and got broken in game six. Federer broke again in game eight to open a 5-3 gap and fended off two break chances in the next to emerge on top and secure the first Major crown in almost half a decade.

This January, Nadal barely escaped the same scenario in the title clash against Daniil Medvedev. Rafa beat Daniil 2-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 in five hours and 24 minutes, starring in one of his most notable comebacks in the second-longest Major final.

Nadal he nearly lost, going 6-2, 7-6, 3-2, 40-0, before finding his best game to secure his 21st Major title. Nadal saved those three break points in the sixth game of the third set and built momentum to win sets three and four.

The Spaniard built the lead in the decider, like against Federer five years ago, and served for the title at 5-4. Medvedev's last effort resulted in a break to close the result at 5-5 before Nadal broke another in the eleventh game and sealed the deal a few minutes later on his serve for a huge celebration.

Cotorro reflects on Nadal

The speculation surrounding Rafael Nadal's plans for the rest of the 2022 season has been laid to rest, to an extent, by his doctor, Dr. Angel Ruiz-Cotorro. "Rafa is fine, very happy with his fatherhood," Cotorro stated.

"Once that situation is fulfilled, which logically takes you out of the day to day, he is training well and following the schedule for the end of the season. I think the secret is hard work, passion for the sport, trying to improve every day, and having outstanding physical tennis qualities. He is a historic player for our sport and there he continues to give us joy," Cotorro said.

Rafael Nadal