Rafael Nadal has achieved one of the most incredible victories of his career at the Australian Open 2022. The Spanish phenomenon had presented himself in Melbourne with a thousand uncertainties, having had to deal with a serious foot injury in recent months.
As if that were not enough, the Majorcan had tested positive for Coronavirus a few days before leaving for Australia. The exclusion of Novak Djokovic undoubtedly made it easier for Rafa, who had been drawn in the same part of the draw as the Serbian.
This does not detract from the formidable ride of the 34-year-old from Manacor, capable of recovering two sets of Daniil Medvedev in the final. The former world number 1 prevailed with a score of 2-6 6-7 (5) 6-4 6-4 7-5 after five hours and 24 minutes of intense battle.
Thanks to this triumph, Nadal forfeited his 21st Major by overtaking Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the all-time rankings. The Iberian will try to reach 22 already at Roland Garros, waiting to understand whether Djokovic will be present in Paris or not.
Guest of Gill Gross on his YouTube channel, Steve Flink commented on the success of Rafa ‘Down Under’
Steve Flink talks about Nadal
“It was asking a lot of Rafael Nadal, especially to play a long best-of-5 final, given that he did not have the proper preparation that he is accustomed to.
And he was playing a guy as tenacious and durable as Daniil Medvedev,” Flink said. “The comeback in the final combined with winning the [2022 Australian Open] under these circumstances should be right up there with his most gratifying triumphs.”
Flink further explained why the Mallorcan’s victory over the World No. 2 was so noteworthy. The 69-year-old pointed out that Medvedev was the favorite coming into the match by virtue of his win over Nadal in their last meeting at the 2020 ATP Finals.
“Medvedev won his last match against Rafa at the year-end championships in 2020. Yes, he had been pushed to five sets himself by Felix Auger-Aliassime (in the quarterfinals) but you felt like he was primed after beating [Stefanos] Tsitsipas,” Flink said.
“Coming into the final, I thought the odds were decidedly against Rafa.” For the moment, Rafa can rejoice at this moment as he is the first man to reach 21 Grand Slam titles. With the French Open coming up next, one can expect Nadal to be the favorite there as well. It will be interesting to see how he performs during the clay season.