Rafael Nadal entered the history books on Sunday as he secured the Australian Open 2022 title, against all odds. The Spaniard, who was struggling with his fitness few months back, remarkably found a way to somehow take part in the tournament. He then produced some brilliant tennis over the course of last few days and just when everyone thought that the dream was about to get over, Rafa bounced back for one last time to eventually create history at Melbourne Park.
At a venue where he has had to face agony and disappointment in the last decade, Nadal produced one of the greatest ever fightbacks and finally got his redemption. In a match that lasted 5 hours and 24 minutes, the 35-year-old triumphed over Daniil Medvedev 2-6, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 in a five-set thriller to win only his 2nd ever Australian Open title, and first one since 2009.
In the process, he also went past Federer and Djokovic’s tally of 20 Grand Slam titles and became the only man in the world to tough the magic figure of 21. It was a big day in world of tennis and it would not have been completed without Nadal’s two arch-rivals and friends wishing him on his remarkable feat.
After the match, Roger Federer shared the winning post of Australian Open and penned down a beautiful note for Nadal. He stated, “What a match! To my friend and great rival @rafaelnadal. Heartfelt congratulations on becoming the first man to win 21 Grand Slam singles titles. A few months ago we were joking about both being on crutches. Amazing. Never underestimate a great champion.”
He added, “Your incredible work ethic, dedication and fighting spirit are an inspiration to me and countless others around the world. I am proud to share this era with you and honoured to play a role in pushing you to achieve more. As you have done for me for the past 18 years. I am sure you have more achievements ahead but for now enjoy this one!
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Roger Federer about Rafael Nadal’s
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) January 30, 2022
Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic – who could not take part in the tournament due to bizarre circumstances ahead of the event – also congratulated Nadal for his historic title. He tweeted, “Congratulations to @RafaelNadal for 21st GS. Amazing achievement. Always impressive fighting spirit that prevailed another time. Enhorabuena.”
The Serbian also had some words of praise for women’s champion Ashleigh Barty and the runners-up of both categories (Danielle Collins and Daniil Medvedev) for their fantastic performances in Melbourne in last few days.
Congratulations to @RafaelNadal for 21st GS. Amazing achievement. Always impressive fighting spirit that prevailed another time. Enhorabuena ??? @Medwed33 gave it his all out there and played with the passion and determination we have come to expect from him. pic.twitter.com/DsOvK8idNc
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) January 30, 2022