Rafael Nadal Ousts Medvedev In Epic To Win 21st Grand Slam Title At Australian Open - UBITENNIS
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Rafael Nadal Ousts Medvedev In Epic To Win 21st Grand Slam Title At Australian Open

The 35-year-old Spaniard staged one of the most dramatic comebacks of his career to set a new record at Melbourne Park.



Image via twitter.com/australianopen

Rafael Nadal produced an audacious comeback to win his first Australian Open title in 13 years after outlasting Daniil Medvedev in a five-set thriller at Melbourne Park.


The world No.5 was trailing the final by two sets and was two games away from defeat before fighting back to prevail 2-6, 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4, 7-5, after more than five hours of pulsating play. It is the first time he has won a match from two sets down since 2007. Nadal’s latest victory has made him the most successful male player in Grand Slam history with a total of 21 titles. He is also only the second player in the Open Era to have won each of the four major events at least twice after Novak Djokovic.

It’s just amazing. One-and-a-half months ago I didn’t know if I would be able to be back on the Tour playing tennis again,” said Nadal.
“Today I am in front of all of you with this trophy with me and you really don’t know how much I fought to be here (in Melbourne).’
“I can’t thank enough all of the support I have received.” He added.

Nadal’s rollercoaster win over Medvedev featured more twists and turns than the infamous Lombard Street in San Francisco. In total there were a staggering 44 break points with 31 of those being converted. Nadal produced a total of 69 winners against 68 unforced errors, as well as winning 67% of his first service points.

“Daniil you’re an amazing champion. I have been in this position (runner-up) a couple of times in this tournament. Having chances to have the trophy with me but I don’t have any doubt that you will have this trophy a couple of times in your career because you are amazing,” Nadal said to Medvedev.
“It has been one of the most emotional matches of my tennis career. To share the court with you is just an honour.”

Taking to the court both men had a shot of making history in the sport. Nadal was seeking to become the first male player to win a 21st Grand Slam title, which would have moved him past rivals Roger Federer and Djokovic. Meanwhile, Medvedev was aiming to become the first male player in the Open Era to win their second major title immediately after claiming their first.

With so much at stake, the final started with a fierce tussle between the two on what was a hot and humid evening in Melbourne Park. Best illustrated by Nadal who was sweating profusely after just three games played. Medvedev was relentless throughout the opener as he continuously applied pressure onto the Nadal serve as he claimed five games in a row. The Russian struck his first blow in the fifth game after a backhand error from his rival granted him his first break of the match to move ahead 3-2. Gaining in momentum Medvedev went on to seal a double break with relative ease due to a surge in unforced errors from Nadal who hit two double faults and a forehand unforced error during his third service game where he got broken to love. The world No.2 sealed the opener after just 42 minutes of play when a serve out wide was returned into the net by his rival.

Nadal, who had beaten Medvedev in three out of their four previous meetings, managed to regain his rhythm in the second frame. A gut-busting 40-shot rally concluded with a flawless slice winner which rewarded the Spaniard his first break points of the match. He went on to convert thanks to a mistake coming from across the court to move ahead 3-1. Triggering an eruption of cheers on the Rod Laver Arena.

Nadal then moved to four points away from leveling the match but failed to serve the second set out during what was a dramatic game which was briefly halted due to a security scare. A member of the crowd went on the court when the Spaniard was facing a break point before being detained. The individual was carrying a banner protesting against refugee detention in Australia.

The drama continued into the tiebreaker with both players demonstrating some electrifying tennis. Twice the Spaniard managed to get a mini-break before being pegged back by a resilient Medvedev who never looked intimidated by the pro-Nadal crowd. A carefully placed drop shot followed by a backhand volley moved him to set point which he converted with the help of a winning backhand passing shot.

The comeback

Playing in only his second tournament since returning from a foot injury and having the odds stacked firmly against him, Nadal refused to go down without a fight as he staged a blockbuster comeback which electrified the Melbourne crowd. The momentum change started at 4-4 in the third set after a blistering backhand winner granted him a break and the opportunity to serve out the match to revive his title hopes which he did with relative ease.

Continuing to weather the storm, Nadal attacked Medvedev’s serve throughout the fourth frame. It was becoming evident that the Russian was tiring and at times he struggled to push off from his leg to return shots. Nadal broke twice in a row as he took proceedings into a decider. Doing so with a love service game that concluded with the help of an unreturned serve from Medvedev.

Incredibly, it wasn’t until four hours and 40 minutes into the match when Nadal had an overall lead after hitting a forehand winner which painted the sidelines to break early on in the fifth set. Admirbally, Medvedev continued to fight on court but it was not enough to deny his opponent.

Nadal failed to serve the match out on his first attempt when leaving 5-4 before managing to work his way to another opportunity two games later. An ace, which was only his third in the match, earned him three championship points. He triumphed on the first of those with the help of a backhand volley at the net. Prompting the tennis giant to drop his racket out of delight.

“This has probably been one of the most emotional (tournaments) in my tennis career. Having the huge support during the past few weeks is going to stay in my heart for the rest of my life,” said the 21-time Grand Slam winner.
‘One-and-a-half months ago I was saying maybe this would be my last Australian Open but now this is plenty of energy to keep going.’
“I really can’t explain the feelings that I have right now but I’m going to keep trying my best and keep coming.”


Team World One Win Away From Victory in Laver Cup

Team World take a huge 10-2 lead over Team Europe heading into the final day



Image via Laver Cup twitter

After losing the first four editions of the Laver Cup, Team World look set to win the event for a second time as the event reaches its conclusion tomorrow.


Team World Captain John McEnroe was thrilled with the day’s results but warned against complacency: “We’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing. The job’s not done but we’re pretty close.”

American duo Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe both earned straight sets wins over Andrey Rublev and Hubert Hurkacz, while Felix Auger-Aliassime and Ben Shelton beat Hurkacz and Gael Monfils.

“I want to play well for the guys,” said Tiafoe after his singles victory. “I played really well tonight. Just being in a team environment is so foreign to us as tennis players, it’s such an individual sport.”

After winning his third singles match in three appearances at the Laver Cup, Fritz was also motivated to do well:

“Yesterday, all the guys played really well. I felt that and wanted to come out on court and show what I can do. That definitely motivated me. Any type of team environment, I feel like it always elevates my game. I feel like my record in team events is really strong because I have a team cheering for me. I get pumped up. I’m excited to play for them. It just adds more pressure and fire to it. I think I play better in those situations.”

The doubles was a typically dynamic and feisty affair, and after the match Shelton was full of praise for his partner:

“It’s amazing, when you play with a guy who serves and returns like Felix, is as athletic as him, and goes back for the overhead as strong as him, it’s a fun time,” said Shelton. “We call him ‘Laver Cup Felix’ because he turns into something special this week, just glad I got to share the court with him at least once.”

Auger-Aliassime returned the compliments: “The best comes out of me when I’m playing not only for myself but for team-mates. Ben carried me through the end of that match, it was tough for me to get it done.”

Casper Ruud, meanwhile, beat Tommy Paul for Europe’s only points so far.

Matches on the final day are worth three points each – meaning that Team Europe would have to win all four remaining matches to prevent Team World from winning the trophy.

T. Fritz def A. Rublev 6-2, 7-6
F. Tiafoe def H. Hurkacz 7-5, 6-3
F. Auger-Aliassime & B. Shelton def H.Hurkacz & G. Monfils 7-5, 6-4
C. Ruud def T. Paul 7-6, 6-2

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ATP RANKINGS UPDATE: Novak Djokovic, No.1 once more



After the US Open the Serbian champion reclaims top spot. Alexander Zverev is back in the Top 10


By Roberto Ferri

Don’t ever underestimate the heart of a champion”

Rudy Tomjanovich coined this maxim just after his Houston Rockets won the NBA championship in 1995. He was paying homage to Akeem Holajuwon. It perfectly suits the heart of Daniil Medvedev, who proved 99% of tennis fans in the world to be wrong, convinced as they were that he would lose the semifinal to former No 1 Carlos Alcaraz.

But his dream to win a second US Open, after his triumph in 2021, was shattered by another champion, whose heart and class is even greater: that’s Novak Djokovic, who affixes his seal on his return to No.1, equalling Margaret Court Smith’s record of 24 majors.

Djokovic dethroning Alcaraz is not the only change in the top 20: Sascha Zverev is back in the top 10 after almost one year and Ben Shelton, great protagonist of the Us Open, debuts in the top 20 best players in the world.

TOP 20

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A few comments:

Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrei Rublev and Alexander Zverev gain 2 positions.

Ben Shelton devours 28 positions.

Sinner, Tiafoe, Norrie and Dimitrov lose one.

Casper Ruud and Karen Khachanov, runner up and semi-finalist respectively  at the 2022 US  Open, drop 4 positions.

One step forward for Fritz, de Minaur, Paul, Auger-Aliassime and Hurkacz.


From 12 to 19 November the 8 best players of the ranking based on the points earned in the ongoing solar season will be playing the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin.

Will Novak Djokovic succeed in winning a second straight title? He appears to be heading in the right direction.


Thanks to his triumph at the US Open the Serbian overtakes Alcaraz also in the Race to Turin.

Jannik Sinner holds fourth spot while Andrei Rublev overtakes Stefanos Tsitsipas and is now fifth.

The eighth position is occupied by Alexander Zverev.

Last year runner up, Casper Ruud is currently 10th. This means he would feature in Turin as a reserve.


The Next Gen Finals, dedicated to the best under 21s, (8 effectives and 2 reserves) of the season will take place this year in Gedda, Saudi Arabia.

The 2022 winner, Brandon Nakashima, will not be defending his title, since he was born in 2001.

PositionPlayerCountryPtsYOB ATP rank
6Van AsscheFrance597200469
12Llamas RuizSpain3702002133

Taking for granted that Alcaraz and, most likely Rune, will be playing the ATP Finals, we have included in the chart the 12 current top under 21s.


Besides Ben Shelton, other 11 players have achieved their career highest this week.

We tribute a double applause to the four players who are making their debut in the top 100.

The 25-year-old Croatian Borna Gojo, 22-year-old Australian Rinky Hijkata and the Swiss next gen Dominic Stricker all reap the reward for their brilliant runs at the US Open. Seyboth Wild, the Brazilian who stunned Medvedev in the first round of Roland Garros leaps to No.76 after winning the Challenger in Como last week.

Seyboth Wild76Brazil30

Translated by Kingsley Elliot Kaye

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COMMENT: Novak Djokovic Proves His Greatness At US Open



Love him, or hate him. But respect him.


No tennis player has ever been better than Novak Djokovic.

Even Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer have to take their hats off to Novak, and admire him.

Now that Rafa and Roger have left Djokovic on his own stage at least for now, tennis fans love Novak.


Djokovic’s performance on Sunday evening in the U.S. Open final was simply amazing. Daniil Medvedev also played his heart out, but Djokovic went one step further. He was sensational.

It was a thrill-a-minute three-set match. It lasted well into the night after starting at mid-afternoon. The second set alone lasted 104 minutes.

Djokovic was the winner, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3, but New York still loves 2021 champion Medvedev.


At 36, the oldest U.S. Open men’s champion ever, Djokovic obviously has a special place in his heart for the number four. It’s the number of times he has won this tournament and the 24th time he has won a Grand Slam title.

The number 24 also was displayed prominently on the white jacket. Novak, his team members and family wore for the victory celebration as a tribute to the No. 24 jersey of deceased friend Kobe Bryant.

Djokovic lost his footing at least three times in the tight second set, stumbling to the surface once, apparently due to the length of the rallies.

Djokovic could look like he was almost completely wiped out of it physically one minute, and then play like Superman the next minute.


Both men played great tennis, especially in the thrill-a-second second set in which Medvedev gained one set point in the 12th game before Djokovic recovered to force a tiebreaker.

Medvedev appeared to be in charge after out-playing Novak to win one of his drop shots to take a 5-4 lead in the tiebreaker. The match may have been decided on the next three points, all won by Djokovic on errors by the 6-6 Russian.

The big question now is what happens next January in the Australian Open. Right now, Djokovic probably wants to play . . . and win what has been his favorite tournament as far as success. But things can change quickly for players in their mid-30s. Just ask Roger or Rafa.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com.

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