The truth is, numbers never lie, ever. Some prefer to hide this truth with rhetoric and out of place thoughts, but words only make sense if accompanied by facts. This time Rafael Nadal thought about throwing yet another "left-handed" hook on the face of those who would like a tennis without dominators, specifically without the Big Three.
The Spanish champion last year went through one of the hardest moments of his career due to constant problems with his left foot. Problems that forced him to undergo a series of medical treatments and skip Wimbledon, the Tokyo Olympics and the US Open.
The story of Nadal, however, is the story of a phenomenon that has erased the word surrender from its vocabulary. The Majorcan even risked leaving tennis as early as 2005, when the first signs of the scaphoid bone problem known as Muller-Weiss Syndrome appeared in Shanghai.
Nadal never lowered his head and managed to become one of the best tennis players in history. After the long period of inactivity and the positive at Covid-19, Nadal returned to the field in Australia, where he won the ATP 250 tournament in Melbourne and reached the final at the Australian Open by beating Matteo Berrettini in the semifinals.
The last obstacle that divides Nadal from the twenty-first Grand Slam and the absolute record, bears the name and surname of Daniil Medvedev. The Russian has already put an end to Novak Djokovic's Grand Slam dream in 2021, but has often struggled tactically and mentally against Nadal.
For the Spaniard this is the twenty-ninth Grand Slam final, the sixth at the Australian Open, where he achieved only one success in 2009. Returning to the numbers and statistics, also the 110th edition of the Australian Open confirmed the greatness and infinite longevity of the Big Three.
Since 2005, one of Roger Federer, Djokovic and Nadal has pushed to the final of a Grand Slam tournament 64 times out of 67. This means that 95.5% of the time the last act of a Major has seen one of the Big Three play for the title.
Rusedski reflects on Roger Federer
In a recent interview with The Age, Greg Rusedski predicted that both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic could end the 2022 tennis season with "22 Grand Slam. "I always said that Djokovic would end up with more Grand Slams and I still think the same.
He is the best. The only place where Roger Federer is dangerous is Wimbledon and we don't know how he will be physically. Possibly Nadal will win the 22nd Grand Slam at Roland Garros," said Rusedski. Calling Nadal a "superhuman," Rusedski lauded him for his brilliant comeback in the finals and stressed that the Spaniard "never gives up" on the court.
"It has been without a doubt the greatest achievement that Nadal has achieved in his sports career. It was an incredible final, one of the best Grand Slam finals in the history of tennis, not only because of its historical importance, but also because of the quality and intensity for more than five hours," mentioned Rusedski.
"He had only won one Australian Open during his entire career, and very few thought he would win the tournament and what is more surprising, having won the title 21 before Djokovic. Nadal is that guy who never gives up. He's superhuman from a mental point of view," concluded the former British No. 1 player.