Rafael Nadal’s start to the season left everyone speechless. The Spanish phenomenon won the Australian Open against all odds, having just come back from a long stop due to injury. After surviving two authentic battles against Denis Shapovalov and Matteo Berrettini, Rafa rallied Daniil Medvedev two sets in the final.
Just when the Russian caught a glimpse of the finish line banner, the former world number 1 found the energy to reverse the match's inertia. Triumphing for the second time in Melbourne Park, the 35-year-old from Manacor overtook Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the all-time Majors race.
The Iberian has also become the fourth man in history to have won all Grand Slams at least twice (along with Djokovic, Rod Laver and Roy Emerson). As if that weren't enough, Nadal also won the Melbourne ATP 250 and the prestigious Acapulco tournament.
Fontang: "Rafael Nadal's humility keeps him competitive"
During the semifinal of the Indian Wells Masters 1000, the Majorcan sustained a fractured rib that will keep him out for a few weeks. In the latest episode of the ATP Tennis Radio podcast, Frederic Fontang revealed what truly sets Nadal apart from the rest of the players.
He said: "Over the past year, Felix Auger-Aliassime and I have had the opportunity to work with Toni Nadal as a consultant. Humility is one of the main values within the Nadal family. This is the key that allowed Rafael Nadal to remain competitive and motivated despite all the successes already achieved."
Host of the podcast The Functional Tennis, Carlos Rodriguez returned to Nadal’s feat in Melbourne: “Rafa has once again proved that he is an absolute legend of the sport. He accomplished a formidable feat at almost 36 years old.
Nobody would have expected it, you have to be honest. Although not 100% in shape, the Spaniard found the energy to overturn an almost lost final. His ride at the Australian Open is comparable to that of Roger Federer in 2017. Both have gone beyond their limits."