'Class act': Rafael Nadal's beautiful moment with Rod Laver

Rafael Nadal's meeting with Rod Laver after his Australian Open triumph over Daniil Medvedev sent tennis fans into meltdown. Picture: Twitter/Rod Laver
Rafael Nadal's meeting with Rod Laver after his Australian Open triumph over Daniil Medvedev sent tennis fans into meltdown. Picture: Twitter/Rod Laver

Tennis fans have erupted on social media after images of Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal meeting with sporting great Rod Laver were shared after his historic grand slam triumph.

Nadal now stands alone as the most successful men's singles player of all time, with his engrossing five-set victory over world No.2 Daniil Medvedev his 21st grand slam victory.

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The Spanish superstar was the toast of the tennis world after finally breaking the three-way tie between himself, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

It took just over five hours for Nadal to battle back after losing the first two sets to Medvedev, who looked well in control and on his way to spoiling Nadal's comeback party.

But the 35-year-old rallied at Rod Laver Arena, eventually claiming a memorable 2-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 win before an adoring crowd in Melbourne.

After giving a classy speech to the crowd an accepting congratulations from the defeated Medvedev, Nadal was finally allowed to head back into the players' rooms to warm down after the punishing match.

Soon afterwards though, a special guest was brought to see Nadal in the gym - the man himself, Laver.

Fans praised Nadal for his show of respect for the Australian tennis champion, immediately hopping off an exercise bike to greet the 85-year-old.

Eagle-eyed viewers had earlier been thrilled to see TV cameras catch Laver taking photos of Nadal as he closed in on tennis history late in the final.

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Nadal's comeback from two sets down was hist first in 15 years, while the last time he hoisted the Australian Open trophy before Sunday night was back in 2009.

The Spaniard was overcome with emotion after admitting multiple times during the tournament, and during his victory speech, that he didn't think he would have been in this position after spending six months off tour with a serious foot injury.

Nadal stuns fans with cheeky act in Australian Open interview

The Spaniard was overcome with emotion after admitting multiple times during the tournament, and during his victory speech, that he didn't think he would have been in this position after spending six months off tour with a serious foot injury.

After leaving Rod Laver court, Nadal joined the Eurosport team for an interview after the match.

Exhausted and overcome with emotion, the Spaniard let slip during the interview with a rarely seen moment from the often cool, calm and collected champion.

He dropped an 'F-bomb'.

When asked about how he was feeling after being broken in the deciding set, Nadal said he couldn't help but think back to the 2012 and 2017 Australian Open finals.

"After that I said, 'F**k, one more time a break up in the fifth & I'm going to lose again, like in 2012, like in 2017,'" Nadal said.

Rafael Nadal shared an amusing moment with reporters after his Australian Open win over Daniil Medvedev. (Photo by MARTIN KEEP/AFP via Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal shared an amusing moment with reporters after his Australian Open win over Daniil Medvedev. (Photo by MARTIN KEEP/AFP via Getty Images)

The moment drew a sly chuckle from the Eurosport team and fans.

Nadal went on to admit he was lost and "nervous" when serving for the match, but the resilient Spaniard was able to break Medvedev and eventually serve out the championship.

Fellow champions Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic sent Nadal messages of congratulations in the hours after the historic grand slam triumph.

Djokovic took to Twitter to hail Nadal's 'amazing' achievement, also congratulating Ash Barty on winning the women's title.

"Congratulations to Rafael Nadal for 21st GS. Amazing achievement,” he wrote.

“Always impressive fighting spirit that prevailed another time.

"Daniel Medvedev gave it his all out there and played with the passion and determination we have come to expect from him."

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