Rafael Nadal made history on Sunday after he defeated Daniil Medvedev in a game of five sets to win the Australian Open title for the second time. Nadal has now become the first man to win 21 Grand Slam titles, and he achieved it ahead of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, who both have 20 each. Nadal has also become the second man, after Djokovic, to win each of the four Grand Slams at least twice. This is also his second win of the year, after winning an event in Melbourne some weeks ago.
The match’s final score was 2-6 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-4 7-5 and it lasted five hours 24 minutes, setting a new record of second-longest Grand Slam final – the first being the 2012 Australian Open final between Nadal and Djokovic, which lasted five hours 53 minutes. That match took place on January 29, 2012, which is exactly 10 years + 1 day before this year’s final. While Nadal lost that match to Djokovic, he was able to emerge successful from this year’s final.
For many, Nadal’s victory is just short of being a miracle. Last year August, he announced he would be retiring for the season as he would be undergoing foot surgery. He eventually announced his comeback in November and took part in one event before the year ran out. Some weeks ago, he played at the Melbourne Park Summer Set, which was a warmup event for the Australian Open, and won.
The Spaniard came back from losing the first to sets for winning the next two and forcing a decider. Medvedev did not waste too much time in winning the first two sets and things looked very well in his favour, till Nadal pressed hard to win the remaining three sets. The fact that Medevdev won 31 of the total points, against 17 from Nadal, shows how tough and dominant the Russian was, particularly in the first two sets of the game.
Before Nadal’s record win, women’s number one Ashleigh Barty made history on Saturday by becoming the first Australian to win the Australian Open title in 44 years. It also marked her third Grand Slam title and putting her behind Serena Williams as the second woman to have won three of the Grand Slam titles at least once. The 25-year-old cruised past Danielle Collins, who was playing in her first Grand Slam final, with the match ending 6-3 7-6.
Just last year, Barty won her second Grand Slam title at the Wimbledon Open, two years after winning her first at Roland Garros. With so much ahead of her, she has what it takes to win more Grand Slam titles along the way.
Written by: Leon Osamor