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Rafael Nadal: “I believed until the end”

The Spaniard said the way he came back from two sets down was just as important as the fact that he won his 21st Grand Slam title

Rafael Nadal 2022 Australian Open Men final of the Australian open between Rafael Nadal (Esp) and Daniil Medvedev || 219552_0092

Rafael Nadal made history on Sunday when he won a record 21st Grand Slam title at the Australian Open on Sunday, coming from two sets down to beat world No 2 Daniil Medvedev in an epic final.

But the 35-year-old said the manner of his victory was more satisfying than the fact that he had moved ahead of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the battle for supremacy at the top of the all-time Grand Slam title-winners.

“If we put everything together, the scenario, the momentum, what it means, yeah, without a doubt probably have been the biggest comeback of my tennis career,” a jubilant but exhausted Nadal said.

“I was repeating to myself during the whole match, I lost a lot of times here having chances, sometimes I was a little bit unlucky. I just wanted to keep believing till the end, no? I just wanted to give me a chance. That’s what I did. Just fight, just keep belief on trying to find a solution. Of course, I was lucky to save that moment. Yeah, have been a lot of moments that can decide the final like this, no? He has a big advantage.

“But I don’t know. Tonight was for me 2012, 2017, 2014 with the injury, too, I have been in that position couple of times in my career here in Australia. Tonight have been unforgettable. I feel very lucky. At the same time I think I fought a lot and I worked a lot to try to come back to the tour and to give myself a chance to keep playing tennis.”

Nadal on 21: “I know it’s a special number”

Nadal said he was not concerned about being ahead of Djokovic and Federer, although he appreciates what it means.

“Of course, for me it’s amazing to achieve another Grand Slam at this moment of my career,” he said. “Just means a lot to me. Of course, I know it’s a special number, 21. I know it has a big significance, this title, no? But from my point of view I really believe…today is an unforgettable day. I never will say I deserve, because I think a lot of people fight and a lot of people deserve. But I really believe that I hold a very positive spirit. For the last six months, I really fighted a lot to try to be back on court. Have been very, very tough moments, moments to really… Conversations, tough ones, because you don’t know if I going to have the chance to be back on the tour.

“I feel honoured. I feel lucky to achieve one more very special thing in my tennis career. I don’t care much if I am the one or not the one or the best of the history, not the best of the history. Honestly today I don’t care much, no? For me it’s about enjoying nights like today. That means everything for me, no? Means even more to achieve the second Australian Open more than any other thing.”

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