Rafael Nadal Keeps His Date With History, Bags Australian Open 2022 To Become First Man To Win 21 Grand Slam Titles
Rafael Nadal on Sunday achieved what no other male tennis player has in the history of the sport. The Spaniard, synonymous with greatness on clay court, became the first man to win 21 Grand Slam titles.
Rafael Nadal on Sunday achieved what no other male tennis player has in the history of the sport. The Spaniard, synonymous with greatness on clay court, became the first man to win 21 Grand Slam titles, reaching the milestone at the hard court of the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne as he outslugged Russia's Daniil Medvedev, to win the Australian Open 2022 men's singles title. Nadal, who has suffered several heartbreaks on this court, since winning his only Australian Open title before today, 13 years ago in 2009, knew that he had a date with history and was in no mood to let this opportunity pass as he came back from two sets down to beat Medvedev. His victory would have been sweeter, had it come with his scourge and primary adversary Novak Djokovic in fray for the title, but even the most vocal Rafa-critics would agree Nadal has deserved this record for long.
Nadal had to dig deep into his reserves of stamina and mental strength to get the better of Medvedev in a match which had all the thrills of a vintage Rafael Nadal five-setter.
From starting out as a precocious young talent with unmatched energy, and ability to outplay anything that walked on a clay court, to becoming an all-court specialist who battled with the great Roger Federer shot for shot, Nadal has been destined for greatness since making a name for himself in the big league.
The fact that he could beat Federer on all surfaces at the Swiss ace's peak and achieve all that he has in the presence of an all-conquering Novak Djokovic is a testament to his longevity, perseverance and skill. Let's also not forget the fact that Nadal has an Olympic gold medal in his kitty, something both Federer and Djokovic are yet to achieve.
This victory over Medvedev, almost 10 years younger, is mammoth in many ways. It reinforces the fact that Nadal can rise up from any setback, losing to Djokovic at the French Open last year being a major one. It also sets him up perfectly for the clay season where he would hope to find his feet again and try and add another major to his trophy cabinet.
Djokovic is younger, fitter and looks hungry for a lot more still and it could mean Nadal might not end with the most Grand Slam titles for a male tennis player eventually. But all of that debate and calculation is for later. This day belongs to the man from Mallorca as he sits pretty at the zenith of men's tennis.
Full list of Grand Slam Finals played by Rafael Nadal
Result Year Tournament Opponent Score
Won 2005 French Open Mariano Puerta 6–7, 6–3, 6–1, 7–5
Won 2006 French Open Roger Federer 1–6, 6–1, 6–4, 7–6
Lost 2006 Wimbledon Roger Federer 0–6, 6–7, 7–6, 3–6
Won 2007 French Open Roger Federer 6–3, 4–6, 6–3, 6–4
Lost 2007 Wimbledon Roger Federer 6-7, 6-4, 6-7, 6-2, 2-6
Won 2008 French Open Roger Federer 6–1, 6–3, 6–0
Won 2008 Wimbledon Roger Federer 6–4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 9-7
Won 2009 Australian Open Roger Federer 7-5, 3-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-2
Won 2010 French Open Robin Soderling 6–4, 6–2, 6–4
Won 2010 Wimbledon Tomas Berdych 6–3, 7–5, 6–4
Won 2010 US Open Novak Djokovic 6–4, 5–7, 6–4, 6–2
Won 2011 French Open Roger Federer 7–5, 7–6, 5–7, 6–1
Lost 2011 Wimbledon Novak Djokovic 4–6, 1–6, 6–1, 3–6
Lost 2011 US Open Novak Djokovic 2–6, 4–6, 7–6, 1–6
Lost 2012 Australian Open Novak Djokovic 7-5, 4-6, 2-6, 7-6, 5-7
Won 2012 French Open Novak Djokovic 6–4, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5
Won 2013 French Open David Ferrer 6–3, 6–2, 6–3
Won 2013 US Open Novak Djokovic 6–2, 3–6, 6–4, 6–1
Lost 2014 Australian Open Stan Wawrinka 3–6, 2–6, 6–3, 3–6
Won 2014 French Open Novak Djokovic 3–6, 7–5, 6–2, 6–4
Lost 2017 Australian Open Roger Federer 4-6, 6-3, 1-6, 6-3, 3-6
Won 2017 French Open Stan Wawrinka 6–2, 6–3, 6–1
Won 2017 US Open Kevin Anderson 6–3, 6–3, 6–4
Won 2018 French Open Dominic Thiem 6–4, 6–3, 6–2
Lost 2019 Australian Open Novak Djokovic 3–6, 2–6, 3–6
Won 2019 French Open Dominic Thiem 6–3, 5–7, 6–1, 6–1
Won 2019 US Open Daniil Medvedev 7–5, 6–3, 5–7, 4–6, 6–4
Won 2020 French Open Novak Djokovic 6-0, 6-2, 7-5
Won 2022 Australian Open Daniil Medvedev 2-6, 6–7, 6–4, 6–4, 7-5