'Rafael Nadal was too good,' says Daniil Medvedev



by JOVICA ILIC

'Rafael Nadal was too good,' says Daniil Medvedev

Daniil Medvedev claimed his first Major crown at the last year's US Open. The Russian became world no. 1 this season but could only stay at the top for a short time. Medvedev kicked off the 2022 season with three consecutive top-10 wins.

He reached the Australian Open final and moved closer to his second Major crown after forging a 6-2, 7-6, 3-2, 40-0 lead against Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard refused to surrender and performed one of his finest comebacks in a 2-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 win after five hours and 24 minutes!

Medvedev could not fight for more notable titles in the rest of the season, suffering eight consecutive top-10 losses and finishing the year with three ATP Finals defeats. Speaking about the Australian Open final, Medvedev admitted he could not chase notable titles after that tough defeat.

Also, the Russian praised Nadal, who played better and better as the match progressed. Daniil needed time to process everything that happened, and he looks eager to chase more big results at Melbourne Park in January. Nadal did not play well in the final's first set, struggling and losing it 6-2.

The Spaniard failed to serve out for the second set and lost it in the tie break to find himself miles behind.

Daniil Medvedev lost an epic Australian Open final to Rafael Nadal.

Rafa faced those three break points in the third set's sixth game, and it would have been over for him had he lost any of those points.

In a manner of a true champion, Nadal survived and claimed a break in game nine to steal the set and improve his chances. Things became serious when Rafa broke twice in the fourth set and forced a decider, recovering and fighting like a lion.

The Spaniard opened a 5-3 lead in the final set before the Russian made one last push and broke back for 5-5. Nadal started all over, grabbed another break in game 11 and sealed the deal on his serve to celebrate the first Australian Open crown in 13 years.

"The Australian Open final against Rafa is one of the matches I did not rewind because I felt he played too well. I had 40-0 in the third set's sixth game and could have played better. However, the match did not slip away from me in that game.

Rafa was good that day, especially as the encounter went on. I made two finals at the Australian Open and can not wait to return there. Still, the final against Rafa affected me, as I built two sets to love advantage. It took a lot of work to digest.

I feel like I left it far behind long ago, but you never know; maybe it's still deep inside. The only thing I can do is work mentally and prepare better for the next Australian Open," Daniil Medvedev said.

Rafael Nadal Daniil Medvedev