MDP Live - Rafael Nadal has never given up on challenging moments, but he even surprised himself with a five-set victory over Daniil Medvedev in the 2022 Australian Open final.
The sixth seed struggled after dropping the first two sets before becoming the first male player to win 21 Grand Slam singles titles.
"If we put all the aspects, the scenario, the momentum, what it means, yes, it's probably the biggest revival of my tennis career," said Nadal, who won the Australian Open for the first time in 2009.
"In the end, it's all about winning, but the way you win games in terms of personal feelings is a different matter. The way I got this trophy is unforgettable, one of the most emotional matches of my career, without a doubt. This means a lot to me.”
Despite trailing 0/40 with serve in hand to world number 2 Medvedev leading by two sets and 3-2 in the third, the Spaniard said he has not lost faith that he can hold on in a tough match against the US Open champions. 2021 season.
"In that moment, of course it was a critical situation. But exercise is the unexpected. The normal thing is to lose in three straight sets in such a situation. On the other hand, I had a big chance in the second set."
“I kept repeating to myself the whole game, I lost a lot of times here in Melbourne after getting chances, sometimes I was a little unlucky. I just want to keep believing until the end. I just wanted to give myself a chance."
"That's what I do. Just struggling, just believing in trying to find a way out. Of course, I feel lucky to have saved that moment. There are many moments that can decide a final like this."
The former world number 1 also paid tribute to Medvedev.
"I think Daniil is a great champion. He took the loss very well and I can say thank you because it was a very tough day for him. I know how hard it is to be in that position," Nadal said.
The Spaniard is aware of the importance of winning a 21st Grand Slam title, but he is adamant this season's Australian Open title will not suddenly change his perspective on his career.
"It's amazing to be able to win another Grand Slam title at this stage of my career," admitted Nadal. "Sure, I know it's a special number, 21. I know what it means, but from my point of view today is a day I will never forget. I feel lucky to have achieved another very special thing in my career.”
“I really believe that I have a very positive spirit. In the last six months, I've really struggled to get back on the pitch. There are a lot of tough moments because you don't know if you're going to get a chance. I feel honoured.”
It has been a long journey since the 19-year-old Spaniard won his first career Grand Slam title at the French Open in 2005 and he admits his feelings about winning a Grand Slam have changed as he gets older.
"Today was more emotional than the first title, no doubt," said Nadal. "In this phase towards the end of your career, I think you enjoy this moment more because you know your chances are decreasing. When you're 19, of course it's very special, but you know if you play well you'll keep getting chances to enjoy moments like that."