'Would've given up': Insane detail emerges in Rafa Nadal comeback
Rafa Nadal has once again proved why never giving up pays off after coming back from what appeared to be an un-winnable position to claim the Australian Open championship and his 21st grand slam title.
Nadal was staring down the barrel of a fourth defeat in an Australian Open final after Daniil Medvedev raced away to a two sets to love lead.
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The relentless Russian took the opening service game of the third set and an ominous warning appeared on Australian TVs.
Win Predictor had Nadal at just four per cent to turn the match around.
Things got worse for the Spaniard as Medvedev raced to a 0-40 scoreline on Nadal's service game.
Facing three break points, Win Predictor would have been even more bleak for the Spaniard.
However, Nadal took destiny into his own hands and saved all the break points to level the set.
And in what tennis legend Mats Wilander described as the 'best comeback in the Open Era', Nadal never looked back.
All models are wrong but… #Nadal pic.twitter.com/s0jpnaBhMn
— Javier Nogales (@fjnogales) January 30, 2022
Wilander. "Best comeback in the Open Era".
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) January 30, 2022
He levelled the match at two sets a piece, before breaking in the fifth.
The tension in Rod Laver Arena as Nadal served for the match, and an unprecedented slice of history, was pulsating.
Medvedev broke back.
The Spaniard said he had flashbacks to his Australian Open final with Roger Federer where he lost in five sets after having the break.
However, Nadal didn't let it deter him and showed why his mantra of playing every ball like it's his last has become synonymous with his legacy.
Nadal broke Medvedev and was able to serve for the match in one of the greatest tennis finals ever witnessed.
In scenes reminiscent from his losing battle with Novak Djokovic at the 2012 Australian Open, Nadal could barely stand up after more than five hours on court.
Coming back from what appeared to be an un-winnable position left fellow tennis stars, athletes and fans around the world in awe of Nadal's fight and determination.
Never say never. pic.twitter.com/nX20gcSUmx
— Marcos Zugasti (@marcos_z) January 30, 2022
99.99% people would have given up at this point.#Nadal #AusOpen #RafaelNadal pic.twitter.com/YI4vVmygnj
— Abhishek Kumar (@Abhisheyk_) January 30, 2022
September 2021 ➡️ January 2022.
Never give up. 💪❤️@RafaelNadal | #AusOpen pic.twitter.com/Y2XH7Hsaf1
— Tennis Channel International (@TennisChanneli) January 30, 2022
Rafa, your spirit and fight has no limit. You are a true inspiration to us all.
Thank you for teaching us what it means to never give up.
Enjoy #21 🏆 #AusOpen @RafaelNadal https://t.co/dDpZeZ3sYK
— Petra Kvitova (@Petra_Kvitova) January 30, 2022
Never give up. Never stop believing. Thank you, @RafaelNadal ❤️ pic.twitter.com/N6vm7QNOVr
— David de Gea (@D_DeGea) January 30, 2022
Rafael Nadal completes the most epic comeback win of his career—in so many ways—coming from two sets down to beat #2 Medvedev for #AusOpen title.
2-6, 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4, 7-5.
The men’s record 21st Grand Slam title is Nadal’s.
Improbable, but, as Rafa proved, not impossible. pic.twitter.com/MeVzc49sIK
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 30, 2022
I think @RafaelNadal's quote: "I can lose, he can win, but I can't give up" sums him up perfectly
— Simon Cambers (@scambers73) January 30, 2022
From 2 sets down to scripting one of the greatest comeback stories, Rafael Nadal, at 35, has achieved something one can just stand up and clap for.
Enthralling, breathtaking, intense.
Congratulations on number 21, @RafaelNadal 👑pic.twitter.com/oMILopC5Ar
— Subhayan Chakraborty (@CricSubhayan) January 30, 2022
Rafael Nadal hails his greatest comeback ever
While addressing the crowd in the post-match ceremony, Nadal made the bombshell admission that he thought this was going to be the final time he played at the Australian Open.
“Being honest, one month and a half ago, I didn’t know if I was going to be able to be back playing tennis again,” he said after missing the second half of 2021 with a foot injury.
“You really don’t know how much I fought to be here.
“Maybe one month and a half ago I would have said this would be my last Australian Open. But now that’s plenty of energy to keep going.”
Nadal confirmed after the match that he thought this Australian Open campaign was not only one of the most emotional months of his career, but the greatest comeback of his 21 grand slam titles.
"If we put everything together - the scenario, the momentum, what (it) means - yeah, without a doubt (it's) probably the biggest comeback of my tennis career," he told the crowd.
"Without a doubt, it's one of the most emotional moments in my tennis career.
"I'm going to keep trying my best to come back next year."
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