Rafael Nadal thanks 'amazing' fans after winning the Australian Open

Rafael Nadal thanks ‘amazing’ fans after becoming Australian Open champion by beating Daniil Medvedev in epic final… having feared his tennis career was over after ‘low moments’ in the last 18 months

  • Rafael Nadal won an epic Australian Open final against Daniil Medvedev – report
  • The Spaniard came from two sets down to win 2-6 6-7 6-4 6-4 7-5 in Melbourne
  • He thanked his team and fans for all their support after a ‘hard’ year and a half
  • Nadal had been contemplating retirement before the tournament due to injury

An emotional Rafael Nadal thanked his team, family and supporters after beating Daniil Medvedev in an epic Australian final.

The Melbourne showpiece went the distance as the Spaniard came from two sets down to win 2-6 6-7 6-4 6-4 7-5 against the world no 2.

The thrilling match lasted five hours and 24 minutes as Nadal claimed a historic 21st Grand Slam title to move ahead of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.

Rafael Nadal came from two sets down to beat Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open final

‘I don’t know what to say guys,’ Nadal said after lifting the trophy. ‘For me it is just amazing.

‘Being honest one month and a half ago I did not know if I would be back on the tour playing tennis again.

‘Today I am here in front of you with this trophy. You don’t know how much it means to be back here. You are amazing and thank you so much for all of your love and support.

‘Without a doubt it is one of the most emotional [periods] of my career. To have the support I have received the last three weeks will stay in my heart. So many, many thanks.’

Nadal, 35, could not contain his emotions after a remarkable triumph in Melbourne

It is surely the most remarkable triumph of Nadal’s career as he pondered whether he would have to retire from tennis as 2021 drew to a close.

A foot injury restricted the 35-year-old to only one tournament in the final seven months of the year, while he also suffered from coronavirus in December.

Therefore the obstacles he has overcome to reach this point should not be understated and his emotional celebration after winning the final set showed as much.  

‘I honestly can’t thank enough all the guys that are there – all the team, all the family, those that aren’t here,’ Nadal said. How hard the last year and a half has been. In the low moments you have been there every single moment in support.

Nadal has now won 21 Grand Slam titles – moving him above Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer

‘Without you none of this is possible so thank you very much for everything.

‘I don’t want to forget the volunteers and everyone who makes possible this event. Thank you very much for supporting tennis and myself. It has been tough times to organise tennis tournaments but the last two years you have done a great job. I wish you all the very best.

‘I thought this might be my last Australian Open but this has given me enough energy to maybe keep going. I will keep trying my very best to come again next year. Thank you.’  

Nadal also had words of comfort for 25-year-old Medvedev, who was beaten in the Melbourne final for the second year in a row.

Russian Daniil Medvedev lost in the Australian Open final for the second year in a row

He said: ‘First of all I know it’s a tough moment – Daniil you are amazing I have been in this position a couple of times in this tournament.

‘I don’t have any doubts that you will have this trophy a couple of times in your career because you are amazing. I want to congratulate you.

‘It has been one of the most emotional matches of my tennis career. To share the court with you is an honour. All the best to you in the future.’

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