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Rafael Nadal after winning Australian Open: 'Have plenty of energy to keep playing'

News Agencies | Updated on: 31 January 2022, 9:16 IST

After becoming the first men's player to win 21 Grand Slams, Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal said that he has plenty of energy left to come back to the Australian Open in 2023.

Nadal defeated Daniil Medvedev in the men's final of the Australian Open to go past the record of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic (both with 20 Grand Slams). As a result, the 35-year-old also clinched his second Australian Open title.

"One month and a half ago I might have said this would be my last Australian Open, but now that's plenty of energy to keep going. I'll do my best to see you next year. I was repeating to myself during the whole match, 'I lost a lot of times here having chances'. I just wanted to keep believing till the end. Just fight, just keep belief on trying to find a solution," the official website of Australian Open quoted Nadal as saying.

"2012, 2017, 2014 with the injury, too, I have been in that position couple of times in my career here in Australia. I feel very lucky. At the same time, I fought to come back to the tour and to give myself a chance to keep playing tennis. I was not ready physically for these kind of battles, honestly. I didn't practice enough to be ready for it," he added.

Under the lights on Rod Laver Arena, the legendary Spaniard looked down and out against Daniil Medvedev. However, the sixth seed demonstrated his trademark big-match mentality, overcoming the Russian 2-6, 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 in front of a raucous crowd in a Melbourne classic. With his dramatic victory, Nadal has claimed sole ownership of the record for the most men's singles Grand Slam titles, moving past Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic who are both on 20 major crowns.

"I give it everything that I have inside, believe me. I even can't celebrate. But was the day to give everything. I enjoyed the fight. I enjoyed the emotions. At the end, to have this trophy with me means everything. It's amazing to achieve another Grand Slam at this moment of my career. Just means a lot to me. Of course, I know it's a special number, 21," noted Nadal, the first player to recover from two sets down in the Australian Open final since 1965," said Nadal.

"I feel honoured. I feel lucky to achieve one more very special thing in my tennis career. I don't care much if I am the one or not the one or the best of the history. For me, it's about enjoying nights like today. That means everything for me. Means even more to achieve the second Australian Open more than any other thing," he added.

The 35-year-old, who also clinched the trophy in Melbourne in 2009, has become just the second player in the Open Era alongside Djokovic to win each of the four majors at least twice.

In a high-quality and physical match that ebbed and flowed, a pumped-up Nadal showcased his fighting spirit to put water on a red-hot Medvedev performance. With his back firmly against the wall after the second set, Nadal's champion mindset shone through as he began to hit through Medvedev with more success in a brutal, heavy-hitting performance to table the turns.


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First published: 31 January 2022, 9:16 IST