Rafael Nadal reveals one of the most exciting finals of his career
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 1830
After a rough 2021, Rafael Nadal made a perfect start to the new season. The Spaniard won an ATP 250 title in Melbourne before testing his body at the Australian Open. Rafa passed a couple of challenging obstacles and found himself in his sixth title clash at Melbourne Park.
Nadal did not make a good start, trailing 6-2, 7-6, 3-2, 40-0 versus Daniil Medvedev and moving closer to his fifth consecutive Australian Open final loss! Rafa defended those three break chances and started one of his most impressive comebacks in a career!
The Spaniard raised his level and scored a 2-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 triumph in five hours and 24 minutes to secure his 21st Major crown! Seeking his first Australian Open title in 13 years, Rafa struggled in the opening set and played miles below his best.
He lost it 6-2 and squandered the advantage in the second after serving for it. Medvedev erased the deficit and landed a backhand down the line winner at 6-5 in the tie break to wrap it up and forge two sets to love advantage.
Rafa faced 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. Like a true champion, Nadal survived and made one last push to extend his chances.
Rafael Nadal defeated Daniil Medvedev after a thriller in Melbourne.
He grabbed a break in game nine with a cracking backhand down the line winner to steal the set.
Things became serious when Rafa broke twice in the fourth set and forced a decider, recovering his game and giving his 120%. The Spaniard opened a 5-3 lead in the final set before the Russian made one last push and broke back for 5-5 after Rafa's loose backhand.
Nadal started all over, grabbed another break in game 11 and sealed the deal on his serve in the next one to celebrate his first Australian Open crown in 13 years. "I caught the virus during the Abu Dhabi exhibition and was devastated after staying home for ten days.
I traveled to Australia just two days after I recovered, and I wondered if that was the right move. I played well in Melbourne but could not imagine what would happen at the Australian Open. The final against Daniil Medvedev was one of the most exciting ones I have ever played," Rafael Nadal said.