Australian Open: Rafael Nadal wins five-set thriller to claim record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title

Spanish legend comes from two sets down to defeat Medvedev in final

Rafael Nadal became the first man to win 21 Grand Slam titles after a comeback win over Russia’s Daniil Medvedev in the final of the 2022 Australian Open in Melbourne.

The Spanish sixth seed came into the final against second seed Medvedev on the back of an impressive run in the tournament. Rafael Nadal had won all of his previous matches in 2022.

The one-time Australian Open champion was stunned by his younger opponent, who quickly raced into a two-set lead 2-6 6-7(5) to put himself on the brink of victory and put Nadal in an impossible position from which no one had ever come in the Open Era.

Rafael Nadal started his comeback with a 6-4 win in the third set before winning the fourth set 6-4 again to force a fifth set. The experienced Spaniard then claimed a 7-5 win in the fifth set to win the match 2-6 6-7(5) 6-4 6-4 7-5 in five hours and 24 minutes.

Rafael Nadal has become the first man in history to recover from a two-set deficit to win in the final of the Australian Open. He also became only the second man in history to win the career Grand Slam twice, as this was his second Australian Open title.

Nadal has now won 21 Grand Slam titles to become the male player with the most Grand Slam titles for the first time in his career. The 35-year-old is also the first man to reach 21 Grand Slams.

Rafael Nadal has now won the Australian Open twice, in 2009 and 2022, French Open 13 times, Wimbledon twice in 2008 and 2010, and US Open four times.

Nadal’s Road to Victory:

  • Round 1: vs Marcos Giron (6-1 6-4 6-2)
  • Round 2: vs Yannick Hanfmann (6-2 6-3 6-4)
  • Round 3: vs Karen Khachanov (6-3 6-2 3-6 6-1)
  • Round 4: vs Adrian Mannarino (7-6 6-2 6-2)
  • Quarterfinals: vs Denis Shapovalov (6-3 6-4 4-6 3-6 6-3)
  • Semifinals: vs Matteo Berrettini (6-3 6-2 3-6 6-3)
  • Final: vs Daniil Medvedev (2-6 6-7 6-4 6-4 7-5)

The Spaniard Rafael Nadal has now surpassed both Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic as the man with the most Grand Slam titles in history.

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