Rafael Nadal wins historic 21st Grand Slam: A look at his journey to memorable Australian Open triumph

Updated: Jan 30, 2022, 10:15 PM(IST)

Rafael Nadal defeated Russian 2nd seed Daniil Medvedev in the men's singles final of the Australian Open 2022 on Sunday to win a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title. Nadal got the better of Medvedev 2-6 6-7(5) 6-4 6-4 7-5 in a hard-fought final to go past Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic with a 21st singles Grand Slam crown of his career. Here is a look at his journey to a memorable triumph at Australian Open 2022. 

No Djokovic, no Federer at Australian Open 2022

Rafael Nadal was the 5th seed in the Australian Open draw as top seed Novak Djokovic had to pull out of the tournament after a controversial visa saga. Djokovic's stubbornness against getting vaccinated for COVID-19 cost him the chance to play in the tournament while Roger Federer didn't take part due to his recovery from a right knee injury.


Nadal got off to a flying start

Rafael Nadal had a comfortable outing in the first round of the Australan Open 2022 as he defeated World No. 66 American Marcos Giron 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 to advance to the second round. It was an easy outing for Nadal, who proved to good for Giron.


Nadal defeated Hanfmann to enter 3rd round

Rafael Nadal continued his perfect run in his second-round tie against Germany's Yannick Hanfmann. Nadal defeated Hanfmann 6-2 6-3 6-4 to storm into the third round of the Australian Open 2022 after a clinical victory.


Nadal reached last 16 of Australian Open 2022

Rafael Nadal, the only former champion remaining in the Australian Open draw after Djokovic's visa saga, continued his unbeaten run against Karen Khachanov in the third round. Nadal dropped a set for the first time in the tournament but defeated  Khachanov 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 to make it to the Round of 16.


Nadal defeated Mannarino to reach quarterfinals

In the Round of 16, Nadal was up against Adrian Mannarino, who produced an incredible fight in the first set. It was an enthralling first-set tiebreak featuring a total of 30 points and lasted 28 minutes. Nadal clinched it before winning the match 7-6 (14), 6-2, 6-2 to enter the quarterfinals of Australian Open 2022.


Nadal defeated Shapovalov to secure semi-final spot

Nadal remained on course of a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title after getting the better of Denis Shapovalov in a thrilling quarterfinal clash at the Rod Laver Arena. Nadal dropped two sets but managed to edge the Canadian 14th seed  6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3 in a match that lasted over 4 hours.


Sixth Australian Open final for Nadal

Nadal dropped just one set as he defeated Italian seventh seed Matteo Berrettini in the semi-final on Friday (January 28) to storm into the final of Australian Open 2022. This will be Nadal's sixth Australian Open final and the Spaniard has managed just one win so far in the last five summit clashes at the Melbourne Park. However, he will be looking to go the distance this time around and create history by winning a record 21st men's singles Grand Slam title.


Rafael Nadal goes past Federer, Djokovic with 21st Grand Slam title

Rafael Nadal proved why he is regarded as one of the greatest ever after defeatig 2nd seed Daniil Medvedev 2-6 6-7(5) 6-4 6-4 7-5 from two sets down in a thrilling final at the Australian Open 2022. Nadal brought an end to a 13-year-long wait for his second Australian Open trophy and 21st career Grand Slam to go past both Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, who have 20 Grand Slam titles each to their names.


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