Rafael Nadal vs Daniil Medvedev HIGHLIGHTS, Australian Open 2022 Final: Nadal wins historic 21st Grand Slam title in five-set comeback

Australian Open Final HIGHLIGHTS: Rafael Nadal scripted a remarkable five-set turnaround to eclipse Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic with his 21st Grand Slam title triumph.

Updated : Jan 30, 2022 21:51 IST , Melbourne

Rafael Nadal scripts an epic comeback to win the historic 21st Grand Slam and second Australian Open in five sets at Melbourne
Rafael Nadal scripts an epic comeback to win the historic 21st Grand Slam and second Australian Open in five sets at Melbourne

Rafael Nadal scripts an epic comeback to win the historic 21st Grand Slam and second Australian Open in five sets at Melbourne

Welcome to Sportstar 's coverage of the Australian Open 2022 men's final between Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev.



The three-way tie is broken in the most remarkable of finals - the second longest Grand Slam final in history with 5 hours and 28 minutes on the clock! Huge props to Medvedev as well, certainly rising in stature as he pushed Rafa to the absolute brink of physical and cerebral possibilities.


The Spanish matador rises to the peak of men's tennis and it comes in the typical Rafael Nadal fashion. Nadal becomes just the fourth person in Open Era history win all Grand Slams at least twice!


7-5: 30-0 A couple of drilling first-serves has Medvedev pushing the ball far past the baseline. A killer ACE to lift Rafa to the CHAMPIONSHIP POINT! And there it is, RAFAEL NADAL has No. 21 after climbing back from the brink of defeat.

6-5: 15-15 Medvedev wins the rally with a thunderous blow down the line. 15-30 Ace! 30-30 Medvedev lures Nadal forward off the drop and Rafa slips it past the Russian. 40-30 Break point for Nadal.  DEUCE! Nadal keeps a stone face as he tosses the backhand over the right sideline. ADV. Nadal.  Nadal sways to his left and pins the ball onto the baseline and Medvedev hits it wide. DEUCE. A stifling serve from Medvedev. ADV. Nadal.  and Nadal breaks! Medvedev's wavering returns fall inches wide off the left flank. Nadal's steely resolve helps him put his nose in front again.

5-5: 30-0 Storming his way into the lead with a couple of fiery first-serves.  30-15 Nadal fumbles off the fore-hand and sends the ball past the baseline.  30-30 Nerves playing its part even on the mighty Rafa. 30-40 This is not over, not just yet! Medvedev slaps the ball down the line and forces Nadal to send in a juicy volley that he slams down the T. Ande Medvedev breaks! What an anti-climax for the Spaniard. Impeccable composure for the Russian as we draw level.

5-4: 15-0 Phenomenal return from the line from Rafa.  Medvedev forces him to stretch on the forehand and he gets to swivel in once again from the line.  15-30 Medvedev eases into the serve and volley to find the lead. 30-30 Uh, oh. A double-fault from Medvedev.  30-40 Medvedev pushes Nadal further down the baseline and induces a wry shot off his hips. Medvedev holds. A cheeky drop shot and Nadal does not budge to run in for that one. Wouldn't matter as much as Nadal will now server for the historic 21st!

5-3: 30-30 A sensational run from Medvedev to clear the dip from Nadal across the court.  40-30 Medvedev approaches to serve the dip in volley over the net but lands it past the line.  Nadal, one game away from history!

The clock ticks past 5 hours!

4-3: A smooth hold once again for Medvedev. Both players are physically battered as they pull on the wet towels over their necks at the exchange.

4-2: 15-0 A thumping forehand from the baseline to set things in motion for Nadal. He throws in a bit of additional flair on the whip to take the early lead. 30-15 Medvedev slashes the ball on the bounce and sends it diagonally past Nadal.  40-15 Medvedev mistimes the forehand and hits the nets. 40-30 Medvedev creams one down the T as Nadal presses forward and misses the volley. DEUCE. Nadal shrugs in disbelief as he tosses the ball wide over the chair umpire.  ADV. Nadal. Medvedev sends the return past the baseline. DEUCE! Medvedev giving it his all. Nadal draws the ball wide but finds him in trouble as Medvedev smoothly fires the ball across the line. ADV. Medvedev! A corker from Medvedev down the line on return before an inch-perfect first serve to the body from Nadal forces another DEUCE.  ADV. Medvedev! Rafa sloshes the half-volley well over the baseline. Another DEUCE! Nadal targets the backhand and prompts Medvedev to awkwardly push back to the net. DEUCE #6 - the longest match of Medvedev's career!ADV. Nadal - Medvedev overpowers the forehand down the T over the base. RAFA HOLDS, a glorious overhead smash to seal the deal, finally!

3-2: 30-30 Things ain't seeming easy on the serve for Medvedev now. Rafa pounces onto the volley and slams it past Medvedev. 40-30 Break point for Nadal as Medvedev sends the ball past the baseline. DEUCE. Nadal's return flies over the sideline.  ADV. Nadal Nadal turning on the heat, mounting the pressure on Medvedev with an aggressive charge onto the ball.  And Rafa breaks with a jaw-dropping return!  Medvedev forces Rafa on the run to his left and he finds the perfect angle to swerve the ball within the sidelines to leave the Russian shell-shocked!

2-2: Nadal right back with a flawless service game. Medvedev fails to temper his returns, spraying it all across the sidelines.

1-2: Breezy hold for Medvedev who looks much better on serve this time around. Nadal will have a bigger grind to find the break here.

1-1: 40-30 Medvedev needling in a bit of pressure on Nadal. Not enough to hold down the matador. Medvedev rubbishes his chance to send down a gushing winner down the line as he hits the net on the full.

0-1: 15-0 Medvedev starts off with a double-fault. 30-15 Phenomenal precision from Rafa! Medvedev draws him to his far left before lobbing the ball off the volley to the opposite end. Nadal rushes to his left and sends in a cracking return down the baseline. DEUCE.  Medvedev finds the ace. The Russian holds after seeing off a physically rejuvenated Nadal with the aided accuracy of his pin-point first serves.



6-4: 30-0 Medvedev's backhand flutters and hits the net as Nadal surges in confidence.  40-0 Nadal swerves in the return from the sideline and beats Medvedev to reach SET POINT! It's five sets in Melbourne tonight, folks! Nadal has cleared a 0-2 deficit to force a fifth in the quest for a epochal 21st Grand Slam.

Nadal to serve for the set.

5-4: 30-30 A thunderous backhand from Nadal flounders Medvedev at the net. 40-30 Set Point for Nadal! Not so easy, Rafa. He sends the ball past the baseline and Medvedev forces a DEUCE.  And Medvedev holds after a rigorous service that forced him to give it his all.

5-3: 0-30 A couple of tepid serves from Rafa gives Medvedev a chance to break. 15-40 Two break points for Medvedev! 30-40 Nadal overpowers Medvedev to the left baseline with a whip off his forehand. DEUCE Medvedev fails to close the dip past the net. ADV. Nadal. A flourishing ace from Rafa helps him to break out of jail once again!

4-3:  A fine service for Medvedev this time. He takes under two minutes to close out the game and hold onto the set.

4-2: 15-15 Medvedev nearly floors Rafa with a fiery diagonal return. Nadal gets the ball past the net but Medvedev flounders the volley past the baseline.  30-15 Supreme defence from Nadal! Medvedev gets another chance to fire in the volley but Rafa's fine defence from the line sends in a ball that Medvedev could only dream of returning from the baseline.  Rafa extends his lead with another classic hold.  The game has clearly transcended to a matter of physicality with Nadal and Medvedev switching momentum immensely as we move into the fourth hour.

3-2: 30-0 Medvedev falters on the drop shot that falls at the perfect bounce to Nadal to clear it past him.  40-0 A dagger to the Russian's heart. Nadal pummels the ball down the wide channel and Medvedev fails to reach the ball in time.  40-30 An excellent serve from Medved draws Nadal wide past the sideline to return. He lunges forward to volley to dip the volley past Rafa. DEUCE.  ADV. Nadal! Medvedev is caught in no man's land as he moves forward while serving Rafa with a juicy half-volley. Nadal crams it past his left and earns another break point.  DEUCE. Masterful defence from Medvedev as he goes deep into the baseline, forcing Nadal to draw the ball out from the forehand before swiftly switching ends with a stifling return. ADV. Nadal! Medvedev with a tame drop shot once again and Nadal pounces on it in a flash. The master breaks! Under soaring pressure, Nadal employs the drop shot and completely waltzes Medvedev who reaches to the ball by a whisker and returns. Nadal reads the script beautifully as he runs forward and sets the ball across for a massive, massive point.

2-2: 15-30 Medvedev puts in extra zip on his returns and pins the crowd and Nadal into silence with a beautiful backhand winner down the line. 30-30 Wow, Rafa! Medvedev makes Nadal stretch full-length before opting for a lob that the Spaniard crushes to the opposite end.  30-40 Break point for Medvedev. Nadal errs on the back-hand while aiming to push the ball off his hips. He breaks! Nadal sends one past the backline as Medvedev varies his speeds on return.

2-1: 30-0 A fiery back-hand splits Medvedev in half at the net on serve. 40-15 Another excellent back-hand return forces Medvedev rush himself onto the return. The extra sense of power raises the ball past the baseline.  40-30 Ace for the Russian. NADAL BREAKS! Medvedev falters with a double-fault and Nadal's flipping the scales in dramatic fashion. The crowd jeers Medvedev once again as he shows a thumbs down as he walks back to his seat.

1-1: 15-30 Another double-fault from Rafa forces the pressure back on him. 30-40 Medvedev isn't meddling around this time. Nadal squeezes to his left as Medvedev drills in a crisp return off the forehand. DEUCE Nadal unleashes all his might on that forehand that races past Medvedev's reach. ADV. Medvedev. Nadal wavers on the volley this time and he smashes it back to the net. DEUCE. Nadal cuts right back with a cheeky slice that prompts Medvedev to scoop to the net. ADV. Nadal.  Medvedev invites Nadal forward with a drop and Rafa sends the ball to his far left. DEUCE Medvedev lobs the ball over Rafa and manages to keep it within the baseline.  ADV. Nadal. Rafa holds after a nervy phase of play once again. A regulation volley on offer and he crams it past Medvedev to level 1-1 in the fourth.

0-1: Medvedev wriggles out of the game with a couple of late errs from Nadal. Crucial hold for Medvedev who has seen a bit of a dip lately after a couple of clashes with the crowd.

Fourth Set begins


6:4 - 15-0 Nadal forces Medvedev to sway to his left before crushing a thunderous shot down the line on the other side. 30-0 Nadal moves forward with an excellent chip and charge. 40-0 Phenomenal from Rafa! Medvedev threatens with a couple of hard strokes down to Nadal's right. Rafa wastes no time as he nails the backhand winner. And there it is! Rafa bounces back with a clinical serve that earns him the set that keeps the flames alive.

5-4: 40-15 TWO BREAK POINTS for Nadal. 40-30 Medvedev unleashes the drop and even manages to hold out Nadal's passing shot back to Rafa who fails to control the backhand. Nadal BREAKS! A majestic return flies past Medvedev who charges forward for the dip. Nadal holds out his fists as the crowd falls into a raucous applause.

4-4: 0-15 Nadal fails to close out another rally on serve as he dishes the backhand flush to the net. 15-15 Medvedev fails to read the direction of Rafa's serve and sends in a late backhand that Nadal clears with an overhead smash.  30-15 A subtle variation in speeds and Medvedev errs the return over the baseline once again.  40-15 Medvedev fails to keep his return past the net. A crucial hold for Rafa and we're still even in the third set.

3-4: 30-30 A rare blip from Medvedev on serve as Nadal presses forward to drop before Medvedev fails to parry the backhand over the net. 30-40 A frenetic cross-courter from Medvedev holds Nadal powerless once again. A bumpy service but Medvedevholds once again.

3-3: 0-15 Medvedev forces Nadal to stretch to his left and he sends the ball sailing past the sideline on serve. 0-30 Nadal in troubled waters. He attempts to swerve in the ball from the sideline but misses the line once again.  0-40 Break point for Medvedev! Nadal fails to close out the overhead smash and Medvedev capitalises with a gorgeous backhand hammer down the line. What a point! 15-40 Nadal goes to the drop shot once again when in trouble. 30-40 Medvedev presses forward to punish Nadal's backhand but sends the ball past the baseline.  DEUCE Nadal roars in delight as he reads the drop from Medvedev and attack the backhand which the Russian crashes into the net. Rafa continues to fight on. ADV. Nadal. Medvedev overpowers the volley and sends it wide. DEUCE. Nadal charges forward for the volley but Medvedev serves up an excellent passing shot to his far right. ADV. Nadal and Rafa holds by the skin off teeth. A game that sums up the man perfectly as he denies Medvedev the decisive break at the half-way mark.

2-3: 0-15 Crunching return from Medvedev! Nadal returns cross-court and sends in a quick volley to the left. Medvedev pounces onto it in a flash and hammers the ball past Nadal at the net. Medvedev holds in a flash once again as Nadal fails to keep up with the stifling first-serves.

2-2: Nadal's more expressive on serve this time and has a relatively quicker hold as he rushes the forehand onto Medvedev.

1-2: Flawless on serve as has been the case all night. Medvedev creates the perfect angles to freeze Rafa once again.

1-1: 0-30 Medvedev's flourishing returns continues to obliterate Nadal's plans. 30-30 A much needed comeback from Nadal as he forces Medvedev into a corner before unleashing the overhead smash.  40-30 A stifling first serve once again and Medvedev sends the ball long past the baseline.  DEUCE Nadal had the game for the taking but he sends the ball long after it bounces awkwardly in front of him.  ADV. Nadal.  23 minutes into the set and we're just in the second game. Nadal finds the ace and he breaks out of jail once again.

0-1: 30-30 A sensational passing winner again from Medvedev just when Nadal seemed to have him under the leash on serve. DEUCE Nadal ups his returns as he gushes one deep onto the baseline, forcing Medvedev to rush it wide past the net. Nadal and Medvedev exchange the advantage with a couple of hits and misses. DEUCE #6 as Medvedev's drop shot falls flat on the net. And Medvedev holds with back-to-back aces.

Third set begins.

Nadal got as close as two points from closing out the set but the Giant-slayer in Medvedev awakened at the right time once again. Nadal will have to bring in all of his might to dream and conquer No. 21 tonight.

7-6:  Medvedev clinches the second set. Nadal's caught in two minds once again as he moves forward to close the volley. Medvedev capitalises on the situation and drills the ball past for the winner that puts him within a set away from the title!

5-6 Medvedev with the drop shot this time. Nadal scampers to make for the ball but Medvedev pummels it down the other end to earn a SET POINT. Rafa feeling the jitters now a bit, maybe.

4-3 Rafa forces Medvedev to squeeze one back off the backhand and the ball flies past the left baseline as Nadal sets beneath for a smash.  5-4 Nadal hesitates for the serve and volley as Medvedev lobs one in off the backhand. Nadal lunges forward but hits the ball back to the net.  5-5 Another frenetic rally but Nadal lobs it inches wide over the sideline as Medvedev attains control once again.

3-2 Nadal meets Medvedev's return with a low volley that dips just over the net. 3-3 And Medvedev strikes back with another charge to the net, forcing Nadal into another scoop but misses.

2-2 Nadal unleashes some extra push into the forehand but fails to fire it past the net once again.

2-1 Medvedev sends in another low-ball diagonally across to Nadal who fails to read it altogether.

2-0 An early lead for Nadal after charging to the net and forcing Medvedev to lob one past the sideline off his serve. 


6-6: 15-15 Nadal draws a fine return towards the left sideline and forces Medvedev to send the ball out wide. 30-30 Nadal charges forward to send in another passing shot past the Russian after lobbing one past the sideline. Medvedev closes out the game with another icy-cool serve and volley to force the TIEBREAK!

6-5: 30-30 Nadal invites Medvedev forward off the drop short before firing in the forehand return past him before sloshing another ball back to the net. 40-30 Medvedev's flashy backhand flies past the baseline and Nadal nears a tough hold.  DEUCE Another horrendous mishit as Nadal's forehand completely goes off the radar. Rafa holds and how! He huffs and puffs but gets the job done eventually with a couple of fiery first-seves that flinches Medvedev.

5-5: Medvedev breezes through his serve once again. Absolutely in control as Nadal finds nothing to tinker his game.


5-4: 0-30 Nadal horrendously misses a simple volley over the net and instantly drops down on another error off the forehand. 15-30 Nadal rushes a ball diagonally to Medvedev's backhand and induces the false shot to the net. 15-40 Medvedev chips and charges forward to scamper Nadal off the baseline. He fires the volley past Nadal's backhand and has another break point up his sleeve. DEUCE! Top-drawer from Rafa. He pins Medvedev deep twice and forces him to stretch before volleying easily to the far end. ADV. Medvedev! A crushing return clips the sideline in front of Nadal's eye before swerving past him. Nadal takes a closer look at the level before deciding to continue. A brief halt in play as a streaker runs down to Nadal but is held out with a timely intervention from the security. DEUCE and Nadal brings out another gorgeous drop shot under mounting pressure!  Another drop shot from Nadal but Medvedev gets to it and sends in a passing stroke which Nadal intercepts. He lobs it back in reflex and misses the baseline! Deuce #3 as Nadal fires up the serve, forcing Medvedev to draw it wide. ADV. Nadal. A crushing forehand has Medvedev send the ball sailing past the baseline and it's SET POINT for Rafa. DEUCE #4. Medvedev seamlessly strolls to the net to flounder Nadal's return which crashes into the net. ADV. Medvedev and he breaks back once again!  A game that was as good as the whole set and Nadal needs a lot more to break past the world no.2!

What an evening in Melbourne!

The Rod Laver Arena in all its glory.

5-3: 0-15 Nadal's flourishing cross-court return goes a couple of inches wide of the left sideline. 15-15 A rare double-fault from Medvedev. 30-30 Nadal drills in the forehand deep into the baseline and Medvedev fails to get the desired elevation back past the net. 40-30 A deceptive slice from Nadal back on to Medvedev's backhand. He's cramped for room by Rafa and once again fails to lob the ball past the net.  Nadal breaks with a pearler! A couple of flourishing fore-hands stretch Medvedev to either end before Rafa executes an inch-perfect drop short to dash Medved to his feet.

4-3: Medvedev breaks back! A couple of excellent backhand winners from Medvedev crush Nadal's composure once again.

4-2: Medvedev closes the game in 68 seconds with another flurry of aces!

4-1: Nadal cruises through another hold! Nadal continues to win back his confidence as Medvedev is shunned by an impressive service from Rafa.

3-1: 30-0 Nadal in with a chance to break. Medvedev gets a tad too eager on the forehand and sends a couple of balls sailing well past the baseline.  40-15 Vintage Rafa! An excruciating rally of 40 shots finishes with a stupendous back-hand cross-court slice from Nadal. The ball wafts just past the net to flounder Medvedev who had no clue where that was going. 40-30 Medvedev strikes back with an ace. And Nadal breaks! He clenches his fist in delight. Game on, folks!


2-1: 30-30 Rafa errs once again with a couple of rash shots that fly into the crowd. Nadal holds with a couple of aggressive first-serves. He forces Medvedev rush into the returns and instantly reaps in a couple of crucial points to close the game.

1-1 Medvedev continues to dish in the aces to sail through another flawless service hold. Nadal will have to mix up his slew of tricks alongside his aggression to get the better off the Russian in this set.

1-0 A fine serve from Nadal to start things off in the second set. Medvedev with a rare dip on his returns and the Spaniard does well to slacken the errors on his first-serve. He'll need a lot more to take down Medvedev who looks virtually unbreakable at the moment.

Second set begins.


2-6 15-0 A stifling return from Nadal after the break. Medvedev had no clue about that one as he it flew past his forehand. 15-15 Another flowering ace for the Russian.  15-30 Nadal's late on the return once again and he sends it wide. 15-40 Shoddy from Rafa. He forces Medvedev to stretch to his far right but fails to close out to the volley. And there it is, Medvedev closes out the first set in a dash!

2-5 Double break for Medvedev! Nadal's serve is all over the place and Medvedev nonchalantly takes control over the Spaniard with crisp returns. The customary growl is not to be heard and Nadal will be already having his sights on the next set. Nadal soaked in sweat, changes his T-shirt once again while Medvedev remains ice-cool at the break.


2-4 Medvedev continues to hold on even as Nadal finds some elevated returns, creating angles to push the Russian deep beside the baseline. Nadal continues to profusely under the heat and it has visibly hurt his levels at the moment.

2-3 And Medvedev breaks! He punches the air in delight. Nadal's wavering serve has landed him some early trouble here in the first set.

2-2 Medvedev continues to waltz through his service and he does it in style this time as he clears the game with another ace.

2 - 1 0-30 An electric return from Medvedev crushes Nadal's cross court shot once again. Medvedev forces Nadal deep on to the baseline before smashing the winner down the line. 30-30 Medvedev aims to chip and charge twice but Nadal breaks out of jail with some impressive volleying at the net. Nadal holds after fending off two break points. The Spaniard's tepid serve has put him in some early trouble but has managed to cling on by the barest of margins.

1 - 1 Medvedev starts off with a breezy service game.

1 - 0 A sloppy return from Medvedev against Rafa's second serve finally earns the Spaniard the first game after some toil. 15-0 A firm cross-court forehand from Rafa wins him the first point. Nadal cramps Medvedev with a crisp serve onto the body, forcing Medvedev to send the ball wide. 40-15. Medvedev steps up with a couple of returns angling in to Nadal's backhand and draws the false shot back to the net. DEUCE.

Rafael Nadal to begin on serve.


Rafael Nadal is within one victory of a men’s record 21st Grand Slam singles title.

He’ll have to beat second-seedeed Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open final on Sunday to make history. And Medvedev is chasing a piece of history of his own after beating Stefanos Tsitispas 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 in a heated semifinal on Friday. The U.S. Open champion is aiming to be the first man in the Open era to win his second Grand Slam title at the next major tournament.

Nadal advanced to the final in Australia for the sixth time with a 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 win in a mostly lopsided contest against seventh-seeded Matteo Berrettini in the first of the men’s semifinals.

Medvedev had a more tempestuous and challenging run to back-to-back Australian Open finals. He had to deal with a hostile crowd in his second-round win over Nick Kyrgios, had to save a match point and rally from two sets down to beat Felix Auger-Aliassime in a nearly five-hour quarterfinal win. Then he had to regain his composure after an angry outburst in the second set of the semifinals.

The Russian yelled at chair umpire Jaume Campistol in the changever after serving a double-fault to concede a late break, getting a code violation for a visible obscenity when he made a gesture with his arm to the pro-Tsitsipas crowd, and then demanded that his opponent be cautioned for receiving coaching from his father — in Greek — from the stands.

Medvedev returned after Tsitsipas converted his third set point to level the match and he again urged the umpire to give the French Open runner-up a code violation.

He then took a five-minute break, took control late in the third set and then reeled off the last five games after Tsitsipas was eventually cautioned for coaching.

Nadal’s run to a 29th Grand Slam final has been comparatively serene.


After the last point, he stopped, beamed a wide grin and then punched the air three times.

Nadal arrived in Australia not knowing how long he would last after months off the tour dealing with a serious foot injury and then a bout of COVID-19. He skipped Wimbledon after losing in the French Open semifinals to Novak Djokovic, and didn’t play at all after August.

“Every day has been an issue in terms of problems on the foot. Doubts still here ... probably for the rest of my career,” Nadal said. “But for me it’s amazing ... (to) just compete and play tennis at the high level again, facing the most important players of the world.”

Last month, he wasn’t even sure he’d be able to return to the tour. But he won a tune-up tournament in Melbourne and has taken six straight matches at the first Grand Slam event of the year.

One more and he’ll break the record of 20 major championships he shares with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. Nadal would also become just the fourth man to win all four Grand Slam titles at least twice.

Nadal’s win over Wimbledon runner-up Berrettini, under a closed roof at Rod Laver Arena, because of heavy rain, was his 500th on hard courts at tour level.

But he’s only won the Australian Open once, in 2009, and adding a second was his primary focus.


“For me, it’s all about the Australian Open more than anything else,” Nadal said in his on-court interview. “I have been a little unlucky (here) in my career with some injuries. I played some amazing finals with good chances.”

He lost classic five-set finals at Melbourne Park to Djokovic in 2012 and Federer in ’17. Nadal lost to Stan Wawrinka in 2014 and against Djokovic three years ago.

“I feel very lucky that I won once,” he said. “I never thought about another chance in 2022.”

Nadal broke Berrettini’s opening service games in the first two sets and, after dropping the third set on a rare service lapse, he rallied to finish off the match in just under three hours. That in itself was a relief after his long quarterfinal win over Denis Shapovalov.

Nadal was the only member of the so-called Big Three who had a chance to break the deadlock in Australia this time.

Federer is out while recovering from knee surgery. Djokovic, who has won nine of his Grand Slam titles at Melbourne Park, was deported after an 11-day visa saga on the eve of the tournament because he failed to meet Australia’s strict COVID-19 vaccination requirements.

“To be able to be where I am today, I really can’t explain in words how important is for me in terms of energy, in terms of personal satisfaction, in terms of being very thankful,” Nadal said. “For me it’s something completely unexpected.”


He said he was taking a different approach to life now, but not at game time.

“Of course always with competitive spirit that I have, because I can’t go against that. It’s my personal DNA,” he said. “But in some way, I don’t know, just be what I am and be able to have the chance to compete at this level, it’s a positive energy for me to keep going.”

Medevedev will need to take a calmer approach after beating Tsitsipas in the semifinals for the second year in a row at Melbourne Park. He lost to Djokovic in last year’s final, but then beat the No. 1-ranked player for the U.S. Open title.

He said he regretted his outbursts at the umpire, explaining it was in the heat of the moment in a very emotional tournament.

“I’m going to play again against one of the greatest,” Medvedev said of Sunday’s final. “Again, I’m going to play somebody going for the 21st Slam. I’m ready.”

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