Melbourne [Australia], January 31: Rafael Nadal on Sunday created history as he became the first man to win the 21 Grand Slams. The Spaniard has also become the fourth man in history to claim multiple crowns at all four majors.
Two sets down, the legendary Spaniard rallied to defeat the world number two, Daniil Medvedev, by 2-6, 6-7(5), 6-4, 7-5 as he clinched the record-breaking Australian Open trophy at Rod Laver Arena. The title clash lasted for incredible five hours and 24 minutes, becoming the longest game in this years’ Australian Open.
Nadal has broken his tie with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer for the most men’s singles Grand Slam titles in history.
The second set had its up and downs as the sixth-seeded broke Medvedev early. But the Russian was quick to respond with another break. With both players managing to hold their serves, the set went into the tiebreak.
The tie break was dominated by the big-server Medvedev who gave Nadal rarely a chance to fight his way back into the match. With momentum on his side, the 25-year-old kept charging at the Spaniard in the third set as one of the highlights and the decisive moment of the match came in the sixth game when Nadal won a 19-shot rally and then a 21-shot rally to hold his serve from 0-40 down.
In the 9th game, Nadal showed his absolute mental fortitude as he broke Medvedev serve and then held his next to win an epic 62-minute set.
The fourth set was quite brutal tennis from both finalists as they traded huge blows. Nadal who upped the ante was first to break, but the world number two responded by another break to keep the scores level.
The 35-year-old who dramatically changed the level of his tennis after the first two sets broke Medvedev for the second time in the penultimate set during the 5th game.
But this time the second-seed was unable to respond as Nadal held onto his serve and took the match into the decider.
The 5th set was all about nerves and Nadal was the first to draw blood in the fifth game when he broke the serve of his opponent. After some epic holds, when the Spaniard was serving for the championship in the 10th game, the match took another wild turn as the Russian broke his opponent.
With stakes so high, Nadal delivered another masterpiece in the next game as he broke the Russian and held his serve in next avoid any upset as he marched towards the record-breaking Grand Slam.