No one will ever forget the longest final in tennis history. In 2012, at the Australian Open, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal clashed ruthlessly and created an epic battle at the Rod Laver Arena. At the end of a match that lasted five hours and fifty-three minutes, the Serbian champion managed to win the fifth major of his career by taking the decisive fifth set with a score of 7-5, recovering from a break down.
"I'm very tired. It was the toughest game I've ever played from a physical point of view. We played an incredible game, it was a crazy show. I really enjoyed participating in this final. It seemed like it would never end. I looked at the clock: three hours, four hours, then five.
We both try to push our limits. Novak, at this moment, is the best tennis player in the world," Nadal admitted at a press conference. Djokovic himself expressed his pride at the end of the match. "It's the biggest win of my career.
We've played almost six hours at an unbelievable level. I think it's the longest final in history. Just hearing this makes me emotional. I am proud to be part of this history and to have beaten the strongest at Rod Laver Arena." Nadal is currently in Argentina, where he will play an exhibition match against Casper Ruud.
Wilander speaks about Nadal
Tennis legend Mats Wilander has said that Rafael Nadal still has another three or four years left in his career. "If you have just won the Australian Open and the French Open in 2022, I would say you have three or four more years.
I don't care about the fact that Rafa turns 40 in four years. I don't think it matters because you are going to have in your mind 'Hey, kids, I've done this now since I was 17-18 years old,'" the Swede said. Wilander also claimed that Nadal knows what he is looking for emotionally and physically.
He stated that if the Spaniard is fully fit, he can enjoy more success with a bit of luck: "Rafa knows what he is looking for: he knows emotionally what he is looking for; he knows physically what he is looking for. He knows how much he has to train to have any chance of achieving that feeling, both physically and mentally. If his injuries are okay, I think he is going to get there.