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Rediff.com  » Sports » Good morning, folks! Here comes the G.O.A.T!

Good morning, folks! Here comes the G.O.A.T!

By Rediff Sports
Last updated on: January 31, 2022 11:20 IST
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Rafael Nadal walks with the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup after winning the 2022 Australian Open Men's singles final, for a photo shoot at Government House in Melbourne, Australia, on Monday

IMAGE: Rafael Nadal walks with the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup after winning the 2022 Australian Open Men's singles final, for a photo shoot at Government House in Melbourne, Australia, on Monday. Photograph: Kelly Defina/Getty Images

It's Monday morning, folks and it's time to re-introduce you all to the newest Australian Champion and the only male player to hold 21 Grand Slam singles titles -- Rafael Nadal! 

 

In a slug fest that lasted five hours and 24 minutes, Nadal came back from two sets down to win his second Australian Open title and go past Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic to become only the first person in tennis history to win 21 major titles.

Rafael Nadal poses with the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup at Government House in Melbourne, Australia, on Monday 

IMAGE: Rafael Nadal poses with the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup at Government House in Melbourne, Australia, on Monday. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Nadal pulled off his greatest escape to deny Daniil Medvedev again, less than three years after leaving the Russian heartbroken in five sets at the 2019 US Open final.

With Novak Djokovic forced out by deportation and Roger Federer recovering from knee surgery, the Spanish great is now one major title clear of his ‘Big Three’ rivals after surviving the 2-6, 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 thriller at Rod Laver Arena.

"It was one of the most emotional matches in my tennis career," Nadal said at the post-match presentation.

Rafael Nadal poses with the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup

IMAGE: Rafael Nadal poses with the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

"It's just amazing now being gone one month and a half ago I didn't know if I will be able to be back on the tour playing tennis again."

"And today I'm here in front of all of you having this trophy with me."

 With the French Open, Nadal's favourite Slam, starting May 22, the 35-year-old Spaniard may just likely pocket his 22nd major.

Fingers crossed for that one while we sit in admiration and enjoy Nadal's Slam No 21. 

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