Top Ad
I DIG Radio
www.idigradio.com
Listen live to the best music from around the world!
I DIG Style
www.idigstyle.com
Learn about the latest fashion styles and more...

Australian Open: Rafael Nadal beats Daniil Medvedev from two sets down in Melbourne epic

Written by 
Published in Tennis
Sunday, 30 January 2022 07:49

Rafael Nadal won a record 21st Grand Slam men's title in the most stunning fashion, fighting back from two sets down to beat Russia's Daniil Medvedev in a classic Australian Open final.

Backed by a loud Melbourne crowd, sixth seed Nadal rallied to win 2-6 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-4 7-5 on Rod Laver Arena.

US Open champion Medvedev was going for his second successive major title.

Medvedev, 25, was in command before Nadal showed all of his renowned grit and fight to earn an extraordinary win.

The 35-year-old Spaniard has been at the centre of some of the sport's most incredible triumphs - but this surely goes down as the most amazing Grand Slam victory of his illustrious career.

Nadal's achievement comes only a few months after he thought he would never be able to return to the tour because of a foot injury.

In the absence of the deported Novak Djokovic and the injured Roger Federer in Melbourne, Nadal has moved one ahead of his great rivals in the race to finish with most major men's singles titles.

It is the left-hander's second Australian Open title and comes 13 years after his only previous success.

"Without a doubt it is one of the most emotional wins of my career," he said after the trophy presentation.

Nadal's emotional celebrations after adversity

Chronic pain in Nadal's left foot restricted him to only one tournament in the final seven months of 2021, while a bout of coronavirus in mid-December also left him "very sick with fever".

Those setbacks meant the Australian Open was just his second competitive event in five months, having won a warm-up tournament at Melbourne Park earlier in January.

Nadal sealed victory against Medvedev after five hours 24 minutes - and at 01:11 local time in Melbourne - when the second seed could not return a net volley on the first of the Spaniard's three match points.

Dropping his racquet to the floor, Nadal stood motionless with his hands on his hips and his jaw dropped. After a warm embrace with Medvedev, he walked towards his support team and exploded with emotion.

A triple first-pump was followed by a drop to his knees, his hands covering his face as he looked up to the sky.

Nadal slowly walked over to his players' box, hugging Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley, on his way to embrace his father Sebastian.

The intensity of his celebration illustrated the euphoria Nadal felt after the obstacles he had overcome - on the night and in the recent months - to win.

Previously in his career, Nadal had only won three matches from two sets down and the most recent of those came at Wimbledon in 2007 against Russia's Mikhail Youzhny.

Victory came at the end of the second longest Grand Slam final in history, just 30 minutes short of the 2012 final at Melbourne Park when Nadal lost to Djokovic.

So much had he given to his record-breaking achievement that during the trophy presentation, Nadal was brought a chair so he could sit down rather than stand.

Medvedev's irritation at the pro-Nadal support

At two sets up, Medvedev had looked well on course to back up his victory in New York with another triumph at Melbourne Park.

Nadal lacked fluency with his groundstrokes in the first set, particularly on the backhand side, and Medvedev took five games in a row to seal it, Nadal dumping another backhand into the net, the Spanish left-hander's 16th unforced error against just five from his opponent.

The younger man's dominance was also illustrated by his winning 31 of the total points compared to 17 by Nadal.

With all the statistics in favour of Medvedev, the second set unexpectedly turned Nadal's way at 2-1.

Nadal ended a 40-shot rally with an angled backhand winner, setting up break points for the first time in the match, and an unforced error from Medvedev handed over the game.

Suddenly Nadal had a spring in his step - and had the crowd getting noisier too - as he moved 4-2 ahead.

Three successive breaks of serve followed, a run that ended with a dramatic ninth game that stunned the Laver crowd.

It included a set point for Nadal, five break points for Medvedev and the game being halted when a protester jumped on to court before being dragged away by security.

The set eventually went to a tie-break which Medvedev finished the stronger and it appeared doubtful Nadal, already looking tired and sweating a lot, could fight back.

Another pivotal moment came in the sixth game of the third set when Nadal, facing going two sets and a break down, fought off three break points.

Both men continued to hold serve until the ninth game when Nadal, whose indomitable spirit began to grow, pounced.

Medvedev, perhaps as a result of the finishing line coming into view, lost clarity of thought when he tried to prod over a volley and instead hit it into the net.

That brought raucous cheers from the crowd and Medvedev responded with a sarcastic clap of his racquet.

The Spaniard broke and served out the set to love, sending the pro-Nadal crowd into further raptures.

A tense fourth set featured 15 break points, with Nadal taking two of his 10 opportunities to tee up a decider.

Medvedev continued to be irritated by the support being given to Nadal, and the frequent noise during his service points, prompting umpire John Blom to repeatedly ask for calm.

Nadal now looked the man with the mental resilience needed to see the job through.

He broke for 3-2 but then wobbled when he served for the match at 5-4, only to break straight back to lead 6-5 and serve out victory at the second attempt.

Afterwards, Medvedev thanked his team, and joked: "I'm sure my wife is watching back home but I think the TV will be broken now."

Read 79 times

Soccer

Angel City, Mexico women set Sept. 5 friendly

Angel City, Mexico women set Sept. 5 friendly

Through a multi-year partnership with SUM (Soccer United Marketing), the NWSL's Angel City FC and th...

Bale completes LAFC move on year-long contract

Bale completes LAFC move on year-long contract

Wales forward Gareth Bale has joined LAFC on a 12-month contract, with options through to 2024, afte...

Sources: Fulham make move for Utd's Pereira

Sources: Fulham make move for Utd's Pereira

Manchester United have received an offer from Fulham for Andreas Pereira and also expect Dean Hender...

Basketball

Bulls remain hopeful LaVine will choose to stay

Bulls remain hopeful LaVine will choose to stay

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Bulls remain hopeful All-Star guard Zach LaVine will choose to re-sign with t...

Sources: Only Lakers seeking Kyrie sign & trade

Sources: Only Lakers seeking Kyrie sign & trade

Outside of the Los Angeles Lakers, there are currently no known teams planning to pursue sign-and-tr...

Baseball

Cardinals place righty Flaherty, OF Bader on IL

Cardinals place righty Flaherty, OF Bader on IL

The St. Louis Cardinals placed pitcher Jack Flaherty on the 15-day injured list because of a right s...

Mariners trade for Santana; Royals get 2 RHPs

Mariners trade for Santana; Royals get 2 RHPs

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Royals traded slugger Carlos Santana and nearly $4.3 million to the Seattle...

Sports Leagues

  • FIFA

    Fédération Internationale de Football Association
  • NBA

    National Basketball Association
  • ATP

    Association of Tennis Professionals
  • MLB

    Major League Baseball
  • ITTF

    International Table Tennis Federation

About Us

I Dig® is a leading global brand that makes it more enjoyable to surf the internet, conduct transactions and access, share, and create information.  Today I Dig® attracts millions of users every month.

 

Phone: (800) 737. 6040
Fax: (800) 825 5558
Website: www.idig.com
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Affiliated