'Rafael Nadal Did Not Beat Me Because Of That Game,' Says Former World No. 1

‘Rafael Nadal didn’t beat me because of that game,’ says former world No. 1

Daniil Medvedev laid a backhand down the line winner in the Australian Open final against Rafael Nadal in the sixth game of the third set. The Russian carved out a 6-2, 7-6, 3-2, 40-0 lead after two hours and 45 minutes and laid a hand in his second straight Major title.

Nadal looked worn and dusty at the time, but he refused to give up. Rafa defended those three break chances and started one of the most impressive comebacks of his career. The Spaniard erased a massive deficit and scored a 2-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 triumph in five hours and 24 minutes to secure his 22nd Grand Slam crown!

Medvedev was unable to put this terrible loss behind him, struggling for the rest of the season and winning only two smaller ATP titles. The Russian doesn’t believe his loss came in the sixth game of that third set, even if he would have brought him closer to the finish line.

He praised Nadal’s effort, saying that he played better and better as the match progressed and proved too strong. Seeking his first Australian Open title in 13 years, Rafa struggled in the first match. He lost it 6-2 and blew the lead in the second after serving for it.

Medvedev hit a backhand down the line winner at 6-5 in the tiebreaker to finish it off and forge two sets to gain the lead.

Daniil Medvedev squandered a huge lead against Rafael Nadal.

Rafa faced those three break points in the sixth game of the third set, and it would have been over for him had he dropped any of those points.

Like a true champion, Nadal survived and gave one last push. He claimed a break in game nine with a big backhand down the line winner to steal the set and improve his chances. Things got serious when Rafa broke twice in the fourth set and forced a decider, picking up his game and fighting like a lion.

The Spaniard opened up a 5-3 lead in the final set before the Russian made one last push and broke 5-5 after Rafa’s loose backhand. Nadal started again, taking another break in game 11 and sealing the deal with his serve in the next to celebrate his first Australian Open crown in 13 years.

«The Australian Open final against Rafa is one of the matches I didn’t rewind because I felt he played too well. He was 40-0 in the sixth game of the third set and could have played better. The match didn’t escape me though. .me in that game.

Rafa was good that day, especially as the match progressed. He made two finals at the Australian Open and I can’t wait to get back there. Even so, the final against Rafa affected me, since I built two teams to love the advantage. It took a lot of work to digest.

I feel like I left it far behind a long time ago, but you never know; maybe it’s still in the background. The only thing I can do is work mentally and prepare better for the next Australian Open,» said Daniil Medvedev.

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