*Eyes on No 21 Unprecedented Singles Title
World No 6 Tennis star, Rafael Nadal, has booked his place at the final of the ongoing Australian Open championship. Looking sharp and tuned up, the Spaniard defeated Matteo Berrettini after a grueling four set of 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.
With the victory over Metteo, Nadal is one match away from grabbing a record 21 career Grand Slam titles in the men’s single category. But he’s no doubt in a heluva run against either Stefanos Tsitsipas or Daniil Medvedev.
Until the outcome of the final match on Sunday, Nadal, 35, is at par with both Noval Djokovic and Roger Federer, long time rivals with whom he shares the men’s record tie at the moment. The edge is that with the duo out of the year’s tourney, the coast appears clear for the Spaniard to have a roll.
While Federer is recovering from a knee surgery, Djokovic, who has won the Aussie Open nine times, was sent packing from Melbourne following his visa revocation by the Australian government and subsequent appeal rejection.
Remarkably Nadal made surprise progress at the tournament after missing out from most of the second half of last season waiting to recover from a chronic foot problem that he admitted threatened his career. As if that wasn’t enough, he contracted COVID-19 in Abu Dhabi upon his return late December for an exhibition match. However, he assured of his return to fitness after grabbing a warm-up tournament at Melbourne Park before the main event.
Overall therefore, it’s no surprise he has, almost too easily, swept through six more matches to reach his sixth Australian Open final.
Nadal has won the Australian Open’s title just once, when he defeated Federer for the title in 2009. Since then however, he’s contended with loads heartache losing a five-hour-and-53-minute final in 2012 to Djokovic and another marathon to Federer in 2017 despite holding a 3-1 lead in the fifth set.
“For me it’s all about the Australian Open more than anything else,” he said when asked about the prospect of winning No. 21. I was lucky to win in 2009 but never thought about another chance in 2022,” he said after the match.