Rafael Nadal news: Former Wimbledon champion had written off the Spaniard
It was one of the greatest comebacks in tennis history, with former Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek admitting he had written off Rafael Nadal long before the Australian Open final.
Nadal’s 21st Grand Slam triumph in Melbourne in January was arguably his best yet, as the Spaniard came back from a foot injury that he feared might end his career to claim a major that moved him ahead of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the all-time list for most titles won by a male player.
It was a win few in tennis saw coming, with former Wimbledon champion Krajicek telling us that he didn’t believe Nadal had any chance of coming back from two sets down in the final against Daniil Medvedev.
“Apparently, he didn’t even know if he could continue his career, so it was amazing,” said Krajicek, speaking to Tennis365 in his role as tournament director of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.
“I have to say that when Felix (Auger-Aliassime) didn’t make the match point against Medvedev (in the quarter-finals), I said to a friend that this is going to cost Rafa No 21. I thought Medvedev was the only one who would beat Rafa for sure.
“Before the final, I thought there was no way. It surprised me that Rafa got into a position to win the second set because I thought it would be straight sets.
“Then he lost the second set and he was 3-2 and 0-40 down and it was almost finished.
“In general, I call matches pretty good in the Slams, but I’m happy I didn’t have a blog and (people) were looking for advice for me because they would have got the wrong advice.
“My belief in Rafa is normally astronomical, but he surprised even me. The way he came back and after five hours he was still running around, outlasting Medvedev physically and mentally. I cannot believe this happened.”
Krajicek tried to put some context on Nadal’s win in Melbourne, as he suggested it was one of the ultimate sporting moments.
“It was one of the biggest sporting moments I’ve ever seen,” he added. “The way he won it, where he came back from.
“I’ve seen some dramatic finals from Rafa when he beat Roger at Wimbledon and also in the Australian Open against Roger when he was so tired, but he never ceases to amaze me.”
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