Nadal, for the 21st against the Medvedev wall

The Spanish tennis player seeks to break the ‘Grand Slam’ record against the fearsome Russian in the Australian final

MADRID, Jan. 29 (.) –

The Spanish tennis player Rafa Nadal has a date with history, one more in his tremendous career but this time with an even greater scope, when he faces the Russian Daniil Medvedev in the Open final this Sunday (9:30/Eurosport) from Australia, with the option of winning his 21st ‘Grand Slam’ and leaving Djokovic and Federer behind.

Nadal did it again, he resurfaced from a complicated injury, from a long break without playing, to once again give himself the opportunity to fight for an important title. He has done it these weeks in Melbourne, after six months without competing and a foot operation that made him doubt if he would be able to play tennis again, his job and passion.

With the dedication of the greatest of the hard workers and the heart of the most platonic in love, the one from Manacor reached the tone at the beginning of 2022 to gain confidence and game in each game until the last step. Those of Denis Shapovalov and Matteo Berrettini were his most demanding victories, to now sit on the main course, a Medvedev who, although he has suffered, is undoubtedly another level.

The Russian’s path was perhaps more complicated and he had to sweat especially against Félix Auger-Aliassime and Stefanos Tsitsipas, but the number two in the world is once again in a ‘Grand Slam’ final like the one he won a few months ago in the US Open. The option of repeating ‘great’ and winning the second of his record in a row is also historic for a Medvedev 10 years younger than Nadal.

The Russian has already spoiled Novak Djokovic’s 2021 ‘Grand Slam’ in New York and now he can meddle in another peak moment in tennis history with Nadal as the protagonist. Since he won his first Roland Garros in 2005, the man from Manacor has been cutting back on that race with Roger Federer and, later, enduring the harassment of ‘Nole’, the Serbian decided in a fight in Olympus.

With the Swiss limping from his knee operations and the Serbian out of action due to his controversial deportation from Australia, Nadal has earned the option of standing alone at the top and breaking the triple tie with 21st. The Spaniard will play his sixth final in Melbourne, an elusive tournament and the scene of physical hardship, in search of the second title after the one he won in 2009.

In direct duels, Nadal is 3-1 in favor, being the last match for the Russian, in the 2020 Masters Cup, but the most significant for the Spaniard, the 2019 US Open final. Medvedev has strength, serve and return everything from the bottom of the court, and repeated the final in Australia as a real danger. Nadal knows this and, despite the fact that everyone knows him, he is always capable of more.

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