Nadal wins record 21st major title at Australian Open

Melbourne, Australia — Rafael Nadal first broke the men’s record for most Grand Slam singles titles and returned from the second set to defeat Daniil Medvedev in the nearly 5.5-hour Australian Open final. It ends early on Monday morning.

He broke when he entered the championship in 5-4 of the 5th set, but no doubt next time.

It was the second longest Australian Open final in 5 hours and 24 minutes after Novak Djokovic defeated Nadal in 5 sets in 5 hours and 53 minutes in 2012.

The 35-year-old Spaniard is now one more than his longtime rivals Roger Federer and Djokovic in the so-called Big Three.

Nadal also sports as protesters jumped onto the court for a while with the 2–6, 6–7 (5), 6–4, 6–4, 7–5 wins that began on Sunday night. He is the fourth man in history to win all four of his major titles at least twice.

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal of Spain will react in the men’s singles final against Daniil Medvedev of Russia at the Australian Open Tennis Championships on January 31, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Hamish Blair / AP photo)

Nadal won his first Australian Open title in 2009 and lost four other finals at Melbourne Park before winning a dramatic victory over US Open champion Medvedev. His conversation rate in the major finals is currently 21 out of 29. Federer and Djokovic each have 20 majors from 31 finals.

His victory was even more pronounced given that Nadal flew to Australia in just two games in the second half of 2021. He was put aside by a chronic leg injury that he could treat but not heal. He also had a seizure of COVID-19.

Medvedev, who was aiming to be the first man to win his second Grand Slam title in the next major in the open era, won from two sets away from Nadal. Medvedev joined Andy Murray among those who lost the finals in the next major tournament after a career breakthrough at the highest level.

Daniil Medvedev
Russia’s Daniil Medvedev reacts after winning his second set with Spain’s Rafael Nadal in the men’s singles final at the Australian Open Tennis Championships on January 30, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Hamish Blair / AP photo)

This is just the fourth time Nadal has gathered to win the best match of two to five sets, and the first time since the 2007 victory over Mikhail Eugene at Wimbledon.

John Pai

Associated Press