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Rafael Nadal d. Daniil Medvedev 2-6, 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 6-4, 7-5
Rafael Nadal has put his stake in the ground for greatest player of all time status, withholding a mighty challenge from one of the game’s current stars and recovering from two-sets-to-love down to defeat Daniil Medvedev in a five-set classic and win his second Australian Open.
Nadal has broken clear of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in the race to 21 major titles. On a history-shaping night in Melbourne, it was Nadal, with only a handful of tour matches under his belt since August, who was victorious 2-6, 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 after an epic and draining match that lasted five hours and 24 minutes.
Adding to his mystique, it’s the first time in Nadal’s career at the majors that he has recovered from a two-set deficit to rule supreme in either Melbourne, Paris, London or New York.
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That’s all we have for tonight’s live blog and for our live blogs for the Australian Open.
We have run a blog for each of the 14 days and it has been a pleasure to bring the tournament to you from start to finish.
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We will have more coverage tonight and in the days to come.
Ash Barty is the women’s champion and Rafael Nadal is men’s champion – who could have predicted that three weeks ago?
But that’s all from me and from the blog, please have a lovely morning and we will see you again soon.
Bye for now.
Medvedev has been the villian all night but his runners-up speech was excellent, especially in the face of such a heart-breaking loss:
It is tough the talk after five hours, 30 minutes and losing, but I want to congratulate Rafa because what he did today, I tried during the match just to play tennis, but after the match I ask him, are you tired? Because it was insane. I think the level was very high. You raised your level after two sets for the 21st grand slam.
I thought he is going to get tired and maybe he did just a little, but he still won the match. You are an amazing champion. I think we have a good rivalry still. It is not over yet, but congrats and it was unbelievable and congrats to the team, of course.
I want to thank two guys in my box. They were here all week. Thank you for sharing this tough moment with me, but we tried our best and hopefully we can have more victories to come. Usually, there is my wife in the box, but I think probably the TV is broken right now. She is my biggest support, so I want to thank her also…Also my team… My team, yarn, Eric, Paul – I think I will forget someone. Thanks for being with me. My parents, sisters – I love you all – if you are still watching. I just want to thank you for your support and I will try to be better next time.
I want to thank Tennis Australia and especially Craig. I think the tournament director is a tough job and I think this year, I don’t know, you will tell me if it was the toughest in your career, but I think you are an amazing tournament director and I hope you stay for at least 15 years that I am here, maybe 10 years that I am here and then go.
Last but not least, just wanted to thank my team again. Thank you.
Rafael Nadal’s victory speech, he started with saying “good morning” to the crowd:
I know it is a tough moment. Daniil, you are an amazing champion. I have been in this position a couple of times in this tournament, having chances to have the trophy with me, but I don’t have any doubt that you have this trophy a couple of times in your career because you are amazing. So I want to congratulate you and all of your team and family for everything.
It has been one of the most emotional matches of my tennis career and to share the court with you is just an honour. So all of the best in the future.
I even don’t know what to say, guys. It is just amazing. A month-and-a-half ago I didn’t know if I would be back on the tour playing tennis again and today I am here in front of all of you having this trophy with me and you having this trophy with me and you don’t know how much I fought to be here. I can’t thank enough all of the support I received since I arrived here. You are just amazing. Thank you for the love and the support.
This is probably one of the most emotional ones in my tennis career and having the huge support that I received during the three weeks, it is just going to stay in my heart for the rest of my life. So many, many thanks.
I honestly can’t thank enough all of the guys that are there. All of the team, all of the family. Part of the family are not here, part of the team are not here. You know how hard it has been the last year-and-a-half and in the low moments, you have been there in every single moment to support and without you guys, nothing would be possible, so thank you very much for everything.
One more time I will say, maybe, that is a chance that is my last Australian Open, but now I have energy to keep on going. So thank you very much! I really can’t explain the feelings that I have right now, but I am going to keep trying my best to keep coming next year.
Rafael Nadal’s grand slam wins
Australian Open (2): 2009, 2022
French Open (13): 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Wimbledon (2): 2008, 2010
US Open (4): 2010, 2013, 2017, 2019
Nadal’s legs have finally called it quits and he has got a chair to sit on, he offered one to Medvedev too but he declined.
After getting his chair and sitting down, Nadal has stood back up as Medvedev is doing his speech.
Rafael Nadal celebrates his 21st grand slam win.
Nadal is applauding the crowd and waving, he has now left to change clothes again.
He looks on cloud nine and it’s quite a sight after five hours and 24 minutes on court.
Medvedev is seated at his bench and staring into space, this loss will sting but he simply couldn’t find a solution for Nadal in that final set.
Nadal was older, more banged up but his experience and determination was too good for Medvedev on this night.
Medvedev will get more chances but few as good as this one.
In 1995, Houston Rockets coach Rudy Tomjonavich uttered the phrase “Never underestimate the heart of champion” after his side won the NBA title.
He could have been speaking those same words about Rafael Nadal after the 35-year-old legend won his 21st grand slam title in the early hours of Monday morning.
Nadal stormed back from two sets down to draw even with the much younger Daniil Medvedev and then willed himself to victory after more than five hours on court.
Medvedev won almost every major statistic but Nadal won the games and sets when it mattered most.