Rafael Nadal news: Australian Open champion described as ‘genetic freak of nature’ by former British No 1
Newly crowned Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal recently made history by winning his 21st Grand Slam and former world No 4 Greg Rusedski believes that the most recent triumph could be the greatest yet of the Spaniard’s illustrious career.
Many pundits and fans have described Nadal’s Melbourne Park victory as the “greatest comeback” in the Open Era after he defeated Daniil Madvedev 2-6, 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 in the final.
It was 35-year-old’s first Grand Slam title in Australia since 2009 while the trophy also helped him to edge ahead of his great rivals Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the race for most majors.
What made the title even more of a surprise was the fact that he missed the latter half of the 2021 season due to a serious foot injury.
“He (Nadal) is a genetic freak of nature and also, his mental fortitude is second to none,” Rusedski told Tennis.com
“If you wanted one guy playing for your life for one match, he is your man. What he’s done is sensational.
“We have a little bit of back story here as well. Let’s not forget in September, the picture on the crutches. He wasn’t putting any weight on that foot we’re talking about.”
Apart from his recent injury issues, Nadal also recently overcame Covid-19 in December. He may have arguably passed his peak and Rusedski believes that the mental strength Nadal showed also inevitably makes it his greatest achievement.
“(Then he) comes out, starts the year, wins two events in Melbourne. The lead up tournament, then the Australian Open to win his 21st slam,” he said.
“As you said, two sets down, love-40, 3-2, we’re thinking ‘this is curtains! No way he’s getting back!’
“Rafa just showed us the fortitude to fight. Let’s not forget that crowd. That crowd was insane, how much they were behind Rafa, wanting to see history happen as well. For me, probably his greatest accomplishment in his career.
“Yes, we can talk about 13 French Opens which will never be broken. But this in itself against Medvedev was truly amazing.”
Meanwhile, tennis fans recently went into meltdown after news emerged that Nadal and Roger Federer will be teaming up at the 2022 Laver Cup in September, representing Europe.
The event could be the final time that the duo team up in doubles.
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