Rafael Nadal looked forward to his entire career Roger Federer in the big race.
Nadal now stands alone as Grand Slam king.
The 35-year-old Spaniard made the biggest comeback of his career by going from two sets to defeat Daniil Medwedef in a pulsating Australian Open final for his men’s record 21st Grand Slam title. Nadal is the first man in the history of the Open era to pull together from two sets and win the final of the Australian Open.
Federer praised Nadal’s record run in this Instagram post:
The 40-year-old Federer, who is recovering from his fourth knee operation, paid tribute to his rival’s historic flight in an Instagram post.
“To my great friend and rival, Rafa Nadal. From the bottom of my heart, I congratulate you on being the first man to reach 21 Grand Slams singles,” Federer wrote in an Instagram post. “A few months ago we joked that both were on crutches. Amazing. Never underestimate a great champion.”
The sixth-seeded Nadal’s second Australian Open championship comes 13 years after he battled Fernando Verdasco and Federer in five-set rugby thrillers to win his first Melbourne title.
Photo credit: Mark Peterson / Corleve