After a difficult 2021, Rafael Nadal had a perfect start to the new season. The Spaniard won an ATP 250 title in Melbourne before testing his body at the Australian Open. Rafa overcame a couple of challenging hurdles and found himself in his sixth title showdown at Melbourne Park.
Nadal didn’t get off to a good start, losing 6-2, 7-6, 3-2, 40-0 to Daniil Medvedev and closing in on his fifth consecutive loss in the Australian Open final. Rafa defended those three break chances and started one of the most impressive comebacks of his career!
The Spaniard raised his game and scored a 2-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 triumph in five hours and 24 minutes to secure his 21st Major crown! Seeking his first Australian Open title in 13 years, Rafa struggled in the first set and played well below his best.
He lost it 6-2 and squandered the advantage in the second after serving for it. Medvedev erased the deficit and hit a backhand down the line winner at 6-5 in the tiebreaker to finish and forge two sets to gain the lead.
Rafa faced 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 made one last effort to extend his chances.
Rafael Nadal defeated Daniil Medvedev after a thriller in Melbourne.
He grabbed a break in game nine with a backhand down the line winner to steal the set.
Things got serious when Rafa broke twice in the fourth set and forced a decider, getting his game back and giving his 120%. 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 on serve in the next to celebrate his first Australian Open crown in 13 years. «I caught the virus during the Abu Dhabi exhibition and was devastated after staying home for ten days.
I traveled to Australia just two days after recovering and was wondering if that was the right move. I played well in Melbourne but I couldn’t imagine what would happen at the Australian Open. The final against Daniil Medvedev was one of the most exciting I’ve ever played,» Rafael Nadal said.