Rafael Nadal won a record 21st Grand Slam men’s title in the most spectacular fashion, fighting back from two sets down to defeat Russia’s Daniil Medvedev in a classic Australian Open final. With this victory, Nadal surpassed Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the list of most men’s singles Majors and became the first-ever male player to win more than 20 Grand Slam titles in singles.
Backed by a loud Melbourne crowd, Nadal won the thrilling final in Melbourne 2-6, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-4, 7-5.
It is the left-hander’s second Australian Open title and comes 13 years after his only previous success.
Medvedev lost his second consecutive Australian Open final after falling in straight sets to Djokovic in last year’s final.
“Without a doubt it is one of the most emotional wins of my career,” Nadal, who had also previously lost four Australian Open finals, said after the trophy presentation.
And here is the full speech of Nadal, after he received the trophy :
“Good evening everyone … good evening or good morning, at least.
“First of all I know it’s a tough moment, Daniil, you are an amazing champion, I’ve been in this position a couple of times in this tournament, having chances to have the trophy with me, but I don’t have any doubt that you have this trophy a couple of times in your career, because you’re amazing, so I want to congratulate you.
“It was one of the most emotional matches of my tennis career and to share a court with you is just an honour, so all the best in the future.
“[Addressing the crowd] I even don’t know what to say guys. For me, it’s just amazing, being honest, one month and a half ago, I didn’t know if I was going to be able to be back on the tour playing tennis again. And today I’m here in front of all you with this trophy with me, and you don’t know how much I’ve fought to be here. I can’t thank you enough for all the support I’ve had since I arrived here, you are just amazing.”
“Without a doubt it’s been one of the most emotional moments in my tennis career. Having the huge support that I received, during the three weeks is just going to stay in my heart for the rest of my life, so many, many thanks.”
“I honestly can’t thank enough all the guys that are there – all the team, all the family, the part of the family and the team that are not here … You know how hard the last year and a half has been. In the low moments, you have been there every single moment to support, and without you, guys, nothing of this would be possible, so thank you very much for everything.
“I don’t want to forget anyone, all the volunteers, everybody who made possible this amazing event, all the sponsors, Kia, that is my personal sponsor since I started playing tennis, thank you very much for supporting tennis.
“Thanks so much to Tennis Australia, these have been very tough times to organise tennis tournaments, the last two years especially, you’ve been doing an amazing job. Craig [Tiley], I know how tough it was for you and for all your team. But you are great, you’re always supporting tennis and all the players in general. I wish you all the very best and I can’t thank you enough for all the support we have from you.
“One month and a half ago I said maybe there was a chance that’s going to be my last Australian Open … but now that’s plenty of energy to keep going, so thank you very much! I really can’t explain the feelings that I have right now, but I’m going to keep trying my best to keep coming, next year, thank you very very much and see you soon.”
The crowd roars.