There is no denying that Rafael Nadal is one of the greatest male tennis players of all time, but Sunday’s Australian Open Final might have solidified that he truly is the best (for now). In a match that took five hours and 24 minutes, Nadal was victorious, taking down the second-ranked player in the world, Daniil Medvedev.
Magic in Melbourne
In a match that seemed all but over, Nadal found himself on the brink of defeat. Down two sets to love and facing three break points in the third set, a second major title for Daniil Medvedev seemed inevitable, but he battled back, something that he is notorious for doing over his tremendous career. The Spaniard fought his way back into the match, eventually winning 2-6, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-4, 7-5.
After the match, Nadal explained how much this win means to him, and how honored he was to play.
Retirement Talks on Pause
At this point in his career, retirement talks seem to constantly linger for Nadal. Dealing with a chronic foot injury he’s had since 2005, he shut his 2021 season down after his Round of 16 loss at the Citi Open in August and talks about his future spiraled after his withdrawal from the 2021 US Open. At the time Nadal was unsure what his future held.
Things have now changed since the time of the interview, and retirement does not seem like an option anymore.
Nadal’s Future and Tennis Legacy
With Sunday’s Australian Open Win, Rafael Nadal broke his tie with tennis greats Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic and holds the record for Grand Slams in men’s tennis with 21. An accomplishment that seems borderline unreachable for many, Nadal accomplished and isn’t done just yet.
With the ongoing issue of Djokovic’s vaccination status and Federer battling injury, Nadal has a clear path to add onto his total and win number 22 at an event that has been home to 13 of his 21 majors, The French Open. If he can remain healthy, Nadal will enter the event as a favorite, and give himself a chance to further cement himself into tennis history.