Rafael Nadal: "It could have been my last time. Now..."

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Rafael Nadal: "It could have been my last time. Now..."

A match that is definitely a candidate to be among the most beautiful matches of the entire 2022 season. Intensity, energy, wonderful shots that drove the audience crazy in the stands (and not only), the desire to win and raise the trophy to the sky: all this in a single match, in the final of the Australian Open 2022, which ended definitively on Sunday 30 January.

Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev were the protagonists of a spectacular match on the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, in which they battled and sold their lives dearly from the first exchanges and of course until the end. The Russian took advantage of an opponent's physical condition that was definitely not at the top to start strong and put the match under his careful control.

The native of Manacor remained a warrior and reacted in the second set, but did not take advantage of several opportunities to put the number 2 in the world with his back to the wall and impact the dispute. The result was a hard-fought tie-break awarded by the Moscow player.

In the third Daniil began to suffer the comeback of the Spaniard and the race became even more spectacular, even reaching the fifth set. In crucial moments both had to deal with the pressure and the rival on the other side of the net, in the end Rafa finished 7-5 and was able to celebrate his 21st Grand Slam triumph.

The winner of the tournament in oceanic land in 2009 spoke during the award ceremony: "Daniil you are a fantastic champion, a couple of times I found myself in the same situation as you, with the trophy at hand and in the end I didn't make it for a short while.

You are fantastic, I congratulate you and your team. I shared one of the most emotional games of my career with you and it was an honor. I wish you the best for the future. I don't know what to tell you guys really. It was great, a month and a half ago I didn't know if I could continue playing tennis, now I'm here in front of all of you with this cup.

You don't know how much I have fought to still be here. I can only thank all the people who have encouraged and accompanied me since I landed in Melbourne." The final confession: "A month and a half ago I revealed to Craig Tiley that it would probably be my last time at the Australian Open.

This win fills me with energy to move forward. Or now I will do anything to return next year. There it is. see you soon."

Australian Open 2022: Barty won the women's singles!

After the victories on the clay-courts of Bois de Boulogne and on the lawns of the Championships, Ashleigh Barty also adds the title within the walls of her home in Melbourne Park to the Slam collection and confirms - if needed - even the status of super number one.

The home player - who in ten appearances had never passed the semifinal cut - closes the tournament in 2022 (after the victory in Adelaide) with an extraordinary active of 73-29 and balance of the sets and a super comeback, if nothing else in the second set, against Danielle Collins in the final.

She finishes 6-3 7-6 (3). Collins had won the most recent of the previous ones, right at the Australian Open, exactly twelve months ago. In short: Barty brings the Australian flag back to the champions' wall 44 years after Chris O’Neil, while the American breaks the Top 10 wall for the first time in her career.

Has women's tennis really found a real queen? Collins manages to contain the variations of the Australian tennis player and above all to vary the angles. Needless to say, with patience and even with a pinch of unscrupulousness, she recovers three-fifteen of disadvantage in the fifth game and takes advantage of a rather trivial mistake of the number one of the group at 40-40.

The reaction? Barty applies the straight serve scheme to perfection and gets her head back with two winning firsts. After the moment of difficulty, she hits the decisive shoulder and files the first fraction. Collins, a powerful and precise player, also deprived of responsibility by the scoring situation, lets go of her arm completely and even tries to make small improvements to the tactical plan (and to look out near the net) with the minimum objective of not getting trapped in the network of players.

prolonged exchanges. Barty, who had left only one of the thirty-seven batting rounds available between the first round and the semifinals on the street, suddenly finds herself down from 1-5. Prelude to the third? Not at all.

Called to close, the American tennis player returns to overload with thoughts and loses all the certainties accumulated in the first six games. Barty - who has the great merit of remaining stuck to the score - somehow manages to recover the mega-disadvantage, to reach the tie break and to dominate in the final rush.