Australian Open: Rafael Nadal the man of all records

Once again, the Russian Daniil Medvedev almost deprived one of the great elders of a historic record. In September 2021, during the US Open final, he blew Novak Djokovic on the 21stand Grand Slam trophy that the Serb was aiming for then. Four months and an ejection from the Australian Open of the world number one later, the number two almost prevented Rafael Nadal from reaching the same magic number of 21 titles in the four majors.

Led two sets to nil

Winner in 5 hours 24 (2-6, 6-7 (5/7), 6-4, 6-4, 7-5), the man from Manacor won and now alone holds this record which has almost escaped him after two first lost sets, the first without a shadow of a match as he was dominated and the second a little stupidly after leading 4 games to 1. At two zero sets, we feared the case folded, but it was without counting on the energy of the Spaniard.

He entered the court with the sign of world number five, after half a 2021 season spent away from the courts treating a nasty foot injury. Taking advantage of a drop in concentration from the Russian in the third set, playing a dangerous game with unusual drop shots, he disrupted his opponent’s mechanics to win in the following sets and finally make history. .

He was already known as a world fair play champion, having apologized to his opponent for winning in his first victory at the Australian Open in 2009. At the time the other runner-up, a certain Roger Federer, was chasing Pete Sampras’ record of 14 Grand Slams. The then 22-year-old had kind words for his opponent. He waited thirteen years to lift his second trophy in Australia, becoming the only one with Novak Djokovic to have won each of the four Grand Slams twice.

Serena Williams and Steffi Graf still ahead

Seventeen years after his first Grand Slam tournament, in 2005 at Roland-Garros, he signed Sunday in Melbourne his 1,038and victory out of a total of 1,247 games played, an unmatched ratio given the inevitable losses at the start of his career. He is now alone on the roof of the Grand Slams with a 22 in his sightsand possible victory in his garden of Roland-Garros which he has already won 13 times.

On grounds other than the major tournaments, he shares the supreme title with three other tennis glories: Andre Agassi, Steffi Graf and Serena Williams who form with him the so-called “golden” Grand Slam quartet, comprising the four tournaments plus the medal. Olympic gold. It should be noted that since the beginning of the so-called Open era (1968), the player has only been preceded in history by two players, Serena Williams (23 Grand Slam titles) and Steffi Graf (22).


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