The Season Ticket
Tennis | Nadal produces epic comeback to win Australian Open title
Updated: Sep 19, 2022
Rafael Nadal has won a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title after coming back from two sets down to defeat Daniil Medvedev in the 2022 Australian Open final.
Nadal produced a stunning comeback at Rod Laver Arena to overcome Medvedev 2-6 6-7(5) 6-4 6-4 7-5 in a thrilling five-and-a-half hour epic in Melbourne on Sunday night.
The 35-year-old, who also won the Australian Open way back in 2009, is now one Grand Slam title ahead of fellow greats Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic after winning the second-longest match in the tournament's history.
Medvedev made a lightning start, enjoying great success with his huge serves and forcing Nadal into a plethora of uncharacteristic errors in the opening set.
The Russian won five games in a row to claim the first set with a convincing 6-2 scoreline.
Nadal broke Medvedev early in the third to take a 3-1 lead; the Spaniard executing a stunning backhand winner to end a 40-shot rally, which prompted huge roars from the pro-Nadal Melbourne crowd.
Medvedev broke back immediately and then saved a set point to force the second set to a tie-break. The 25-year-old then triumphed 7-5 in a thrilling tie-break to take himself to within one set of his maiden Australian Open title.
A relentless Nadal forced the match to a fourth set, breaking Medvedev's serve at 4-4 in the third on his way to claiming his first set of the final.
Medvedev appeared to be feeling the pace in the fourth, but saved a set point at 5-3. However, a resurgent Nadal claimed the set 6-4 to tie the final heading into the final set.
The fifth and final set was laced with even more drama.
Nadal broke Medvedev to go 3-2 up, setting himself up to serve for the match at 5-4.
However, the resilient Russian broke back to make it 5-5, ensuring a nervous finale at Rod Laver Arena.
However, Nadal used all of his experience and determination to break back immediately, before holding serve to seal an historic victory.
The Spaniard paid tribute to his opponent and the raucous Melbourne crowd in his acceptance speech.
“I know it’s a tough moment, Daniil," Nadal said afterwards.
"You’re an amazing champion. I’ve been in this position a couple of times trying to have the trophy with me,” Nadal said.
"It has been one of the most emotional nights in my tennis career, and to share the court with you is just an honour.
“For me it’s just amazing. A month-and-a-half ago I didn’t know if I’d be back and today I’m back here with you holding this trophy.”
"It's tough to talk after five hours 30 and losing but I want to congratulate Rafa," Medvedev said.
"What he did today, I was amazed. During the match, I tried to just play tennis but, after the match, I asked him, 'Are you tired?'
"It was insane. You're an amazing champion."