SportRafael Nadal makes an appointment with history

Rafael Nadal makes an appointment with history

The Grand Slam finals catalog opens in 2022 with a plate that, exceeding the highest expectations, can shake the history of tennis. The Australian Open reaches its last day of competition in one of the most bizarre editions that are remembered with a duel between Daniil Medvedev and a Rafael Nadal who, if he conquers his great ‘damn’, will become the best tennis player in history , numbers in hand.

The dream of the 21 Grand Slams is closer than ever to becoming a reality and will make Spain get up early, where from 9:30 a.m. you will be able to see a duel of opposing styles and huge tennis, a generational combat in which the champion of fair play on the ATP circuit is measured against the favorite villain of many. A Nadal vs Medvedev in which strong emotions are expected, with the example of what happened at the US Open 2019 still present and a dream come true at the end of the clash while the rival’s becomes a nightmare.

Nadal reaches the grand final at Melbourne Park after ruling himself out days before the start of the tournament. The man from Manacor arrived with little filming after more than five months of absence due to a chronic injury that threatened to never let the best Spanish athlete of all time play again. The illogical, however, would be imposed as on so many occasions when Rafa is the protagonist of the story and Giron, Hanfmann, Khachanov, Mannarino, Shapovalov and Berrettini would make up the list of victims of Rafael Nadal Parera on arrival at what is his sixth final at the Australian Open.

Rafa ‘s is the story of overcoming a superhero who won his first Grand Slam on June 5, 2005 and wants, 17 years later, to conquer the one that places him at the top of the historical classification, surpassing neither more nor less than Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. And all this with 35 years, the inactivity explained above and the strength of the new stars, giant punchers who have not been able to control Nadal ‘s ability to command, mentality and tennis effects.

Medvedev, the toughest rival

The head of the new generation, Daniil Medvedev , enters the title match for the second time in two years, after the 2021 final in which Djokovic swept him away from his dream in three sets. Now and as a Grand Slam champion – he achieved it by taking revenge on Nole in 2021 – the Russian gets a new chance to succeed in Australia, where the track suits him wonderfully but where he has also encountered ups and downs that almost cost him elimination in the quarterfinals, against Auger-Aliassime , and even in the semifinals against Tsitsipas .

The public has already chosen sides and will be with Rafa , an example of values beyond tennis that contrasts with the controversial fame that Medvedev has raised with his unfortunate episode with the Spanish chair umpire Jaume Campistol in the semifinals. Those shouts and contempt from the Russian will put him against the respectable in the Rod Laver Arena, so the first point of the final for history is in Nadal ‘s pocket.

The precedents of the final combat

In a final of such a level as the one that will take place in Melbourne , the precedents between both tennis players tend to take on importance. Those experienced by Nadal and Medvedev in direct duels are not multiple, but they are rich for analysis. Both contenders have met four times, all of them on hard court and in major tournaments. The first duel was the only one destabilized, a full-fledged beating (6-3, 6-0) by Rafa over Daniil in the final of the 2019 Canadian Masters 1000 .

Then came the remembered final of the US Open, weeks later, in which Nadal started like a shot but was about to be traced by a Medvedev who played like the angels but died on the shore before the last blow (7-5, 6 -3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4) of the legend of Manacor. Two acts in the Masters Finals, one in the same 2019 with a very tight victory (6-7(3) 6-3 7-6(4)) by Rafa and another in the semifinals of 2020, with the first victory by Daniil (3- 6, 7-6(3), 6-3) complete the head-to-head of a card that will experience its most special episode at the Rod Laver Arena with history at stake.

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