Daniil Medvedev scripts history as he becomes the first Russian man in 17 years to win the Australian Open title. Medvedev defeated former champion and 20-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal in a thrilling match that was indeed the calibre of a great final that is expected in a major. Medvedev lost the match 6-2, 7-6(5), 4-6, 4-6, 5-7 in 5 hours and 24 minutes on a packed Rod Laver Arena that was pro-Rafa throughout the match.
It was another service masterclass by Medvedev who hit 23 aces, 76 winners and converted 6 of his 22 breakpoints while making 5 double faults and 52 unforced errors to finish with 189 points. Nadal from the other side of the net had 3 aces, 69 winners and won 7 of his 22 breakpoints while hitting 5 double faults and 68 unforced errors to go down fighting with 182 points to his name.
“Tough to talk after 5 hours and 30 and losing. I want to congratulate Rafa for what he did today. I was amazed. During the match, I tried just to play tennis but after the match, I asked him, ‘Are you tired?’ Because it was insane, the level was very high. You raised your level after two sets to win the 21st Grand Slam.
“I thought you will get tired and do just little but you still won the match so you are an amazing champion and I think you guys have an amazing rivalry still and it’s not over yet but congrats, it was unbelievable and congrats to your team of course,” said Medvedev during the trophy presentation ceremony.
Daniil Medvedev misses the chance to become the new World No. 1
Medvedev was looking to become the first man in the Open era to win successive titles after winning his first and was just the second man to reach back-to-back Grand Slam finals after winning his first major, the other being Murray but the 3-time Grand Slam champion failed to win the second finals (2013 Australian Open) having earlier won the 2012 US Open.
“Two guys in my boxm they were here all week, Olly and Jil, thanks for sharing these tough moments with me. We tried our best and hopefully, we can have more victories to come. Usually, there is my wife in the box but I think the TV is broken probably right now but she is my biggest support so I wanna thank her.
“My team, thanks a lot guys for being with me. My parents, my sisters, I love you all, if you’re still watching. Just want to thank you for your support and I am going to try to be better next time. I also want to thank Tennis Australia, especially Craig, tennis tournament director is a tough job and this year was, you will tell me if it was the toughest in your career.
“I think you are an amazing tournament director and I hope you stay for at least 15 years of 10 years that I am here and then you can walk out. Just wanted to thank my team again, thank you guys,” concluded Medvedev in his final on-court interview in Melbourne Park this year giving yet another classy speech.
A win would have made him the new World No. 1 and the first player outside the Big-4 of Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray to claim the spot in almost 2 decades. With not a single point that was dull, the crowd on Rod Laver Arena was surely treated to a complete entertainer with the match swinging its way the entire time.