Rafael Nadal Secures His 21st Grand Slam Tile Beating World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev

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Rafael Nadal scripted history on Sunday as he lifted his 21st Grand Slam after beating Daniil Medvedev 2-6, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 in the men’s singles final. Rafael became the first man to clinch the Grand Slam title breaking the tie with contemporaries Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

The match was the second-longest Australian Open final that started Sunday night and lasted 5 hours 24 minutes. The match was delayed for a few minutes in the second set as a protester rushed onto the court. In 2012, Novak Djokovic beat Nadal in five sets in 5 hours and 53 minutes making it the longest match in history. 

Nadal produced one of his finest performances to stun Medvedev, whom he gave a heartbreaking defeat in five sets at the 2019 U.S. Open final. Despite being two sets down in Sunday’s match, Nadal took the match to the fifth set to beat the 2021 U.S. Open champion. 

Medvedev was leading the match after an opening of a 6-2, 7-6 (5) before Nadal grabbed the third and fourth sets 6-4, 6-4. In the fifth set, Medvedev was initially leading the set with 2-1. However, the overwhelming support from the audience pushed Nadal to play his best and registered a 7-5 win in the fifth set.

After the history-making match, an emotional Nadal thanked all of his supporters for believing in him.

“This has been one of the most emotional matches of my career,” Nadal said. “One and a half months ago, I didn’t know if I would be playing tennis again, how much I fought to be here. Thank you all for the support, you are all just amazing. It’s gonna stay in my heart for the rest of my life.”   

The 35-year old tennis star was not a favourite in the tournament as he was coming back from surgery. However, he managed to beat the most successful players on the tour to join the elite club of players who have won all four of the sport’s major titles at least twice.

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