The defending champion Rafael Nadal is back at Melbourne Park! A 22-time Major winner is preparing for his 18th Australian Open, traveling to Melbourne from Sydney and training with Felix Auger-Aliassime. Rafa is yet to win a match this year, falling twice at the United Cup from a set up and hoping for a better run in Melbourne.
Nadal came to the last year’s Australian Open without high hopes, wishing to compete at his best and test his body after a nasty foot injury. Rafa raised above the issues and passed seven obstacles to lifting his first Melbourne Park crown since 2009!
The Spaniard delivered a couple of notable victories and became the first player with 21 Major trophies.
Rafael Nadal will seek a title defense in Melbourne despite his poor form.
Nadal toppled the rivals like Denis Shapovalov and Matteo Berrettini to enter his sixth Australian Open final.
Rafa stood on the verge of the fifth consecutive defeat in them after struggling a lot in the opening two sets! He trailed 6-2, 7-6, 3-2, 40-0 against world no. 2 Daniil Medvedev before performing one of his career-best comebacks.
Rafa scored a 2-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 victory in five hours and 24 minutes and prevailed in the second-longest Major final! Nadal was inches away from the runner-up prize when he faced those three break points in the third set’s sixth game.
Rafa stole that game and gained a massive boost at the start of his recovery. Nadal claimed the third set after breaking the opponent with a backhand down the line winner in game nine and forged an early advantage in the fourth.
Rafa held at love in game ten to wrap up the set and force a decider after four hours and 12 minutes, firmly believing in a complete comeback. Pushing strong, the Spaniard placed a forehand down the line winner in the fifth game to open a 3-2 gap.
Nadal survived a massive scare after fending off three break points in the sixth game. He secured the eighth game to forge a 5-3 advantage and move closer to the finish line. Medvedev made one last push and broke back in game ten to level the score at 5-5 and increase the drama.
Staying composed and using his vast experience, Rafa seized the third break chance in the 11th game and sealed the deal on his serve a few minutes later for the record-breaking 21st Major crown.