Nadal feels lucky to be part of the dominating trio of world tennis

February 1, 2022

Spain’s Rafael Nadal next to the trophy during a news conference after winning the final against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev, at Melbourne Park, Australia, January 31, 2022. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Feb 1 (Reuters) – Rafa Nadal said he felt lucky to be part of an era of tennis that included Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, after the Spaniard won his 21st men’s Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, beating his two great rivals with his showcase of great tournaments.

Nadal came from two sets down to beat Daniil Medvedev 2-6 6-7(5) 6-4 6-4 7-5 in a classic final on Sunday, just a few months after fearing his glorious career ended due to an injury to his left foot.

He then paid tribute to Federer, who missed the first Grand Slam of the year to continue his rehabilitation from knee surgery, and to Djokovic, who was expelled following a dispute over the COVID-19 Australian entry requirements and his unvaccinated condition.

“At the end of the day, it’s just a game and somehow we achieved more than we ever dreamed of when we were kids,” Nadal told reporters. “It doesn’t matter so much if one is 21, another is 20, or the other ended up 23 and the other 21.”

“I think we did very important things for our sport and we achieved our dreams and we enjoyed it. I feel lucky to be part of this time that has been very special for our sport.”

The 35-year-old, who withdrew from Wimbledon, the Tokyo Olympics and the US Open in 2021 and returned to competition last month, said the satisfaction of winning his second Australian Open crown was impossible to swallow. describe.

“It’s amazing to have this trophy with me,” Nadal said. “I tried really hard during the tournament in Australia, finally, it was probably the most unexpected year for me to once again achieve this beautiful trophy, so I’m super happy.”

Nadal said that he was not thinking about his next tournament.

“I have my schedule planned, but I’m enjoying the moment… I need to see how my body recovers from an incredible month and I’m going to make my decision,” Nadal said.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Stephen Coates, translated by Tomás Cobos)