| 16.9°C Dublin

golden moment Novak Djokovic posts classy message as Rafael Nadal wins historic 21st Grand Slam title

Nadal’s 2-6 6-7 (5) 6-4 6-4 7-5 victory moves him clear of his great rivals Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic as the most successful male player in grand slam history.

Close

Rafael Nadal of Spain holds the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup as he celebrates victory in his Mens Singles Final match against Daniil Medvedev of Russia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

Rafael Nadal of Spain holds the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup as he celebrates victory in his Mens Singles Final match against Daniil Medvedev of Russia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

Rafael Nadal of Spain holds the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup as he celebrates victory in his Mens Singles Final match against Daniil Medvedev of Russia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

Rafael Nadal won a record breaking 21st Grand Slam title in a remarkable Australian Open final against Daniil Medvedev and old foe Novak Djokovic was one of the first to congratulate him.

Nadal’s 2-6 6-7 (5) 6-4 6-4 7-5 victory moves him clear of his great rivals Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic as the most successful male player in tennis history as he moved one clear in the race to win the most major titles.

When the match, which lasted five hours and 24 minutes, finally finished at 1.11am local time in Melbourne, Nadal dropped his racket to the court in disbelief before pumping his fists in delight and celebrating with his support team.

Djokovic's name has hung over the Australian Open despite his absence and now he has given his reaction to Rafael Nadal's historic victory.

Nadal moved ahead of Djokovic and Roger Federer in the race to win a 21st Grand Slam title with his remarkable five-set win against Daniil Medvedev in Melbourne, with Federer quick to offer his congratulations after the match on Instagram.

Djokovic was not far behind and despite his disappointment at missing the Australian Open after he was deported by the Australian government after he lost an appeal to stay after his visa was revoked due to his unvaccinated status, the Serbian showed great humility with a generous message on Instagram congratulating the two singles champions.

"There has been some outstanding tennis played at this year’s Australian Open," read his message on Instagram.

"Congratulations to Ashley Barty for an amazing performance in front of her home crowd and to Danielle Collins for an incredible tournament.

"Congratulations to Rafael Nadal for 21st GS. Amazing achievement. Always impressive fighting spirit that prevailed another time. Enhorabuena (congratulations) to Danill Mednedev. Gave it his all out there and played with the passion and determination we have come to expect from him."

Roger Federer, who had been level with Nadal on 20 grand slam wins before the Spaniard’s stunning triumph in Melbourne, paid tribute to his rival.

In a post on his Instagram story, the Swiss great wrote: “What a match. To my friend and great rival Rafael Nadal, heartfelt congratulations on becoming the first man to win 21 grand slam singles’ titles.

“A few months ago we were joking about both being on crutches. Amazing. Never underestimate a great champion. Your incredible work ethic, dedication and fighting spirit are an inspiration to me and countless others around the world.

“I am proud to share this era with you and honoured to play a role in pushing you to achieve more, as you have done for me for the past 18 years. I am sure you have more achievements ahead but for now enjoy this one!”

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

After receiving the trophy, Nadal turned to his opponent, saying: “I know it’s a tough moment. Daniil you are an amazing champion.

“I have been in this position a couple of times at this tournament. I have no doubt you will have this trophy a couple of times in your career. It has been one of the most emotional matches in my tennis career and to share the court with you is just an honour.

“I don’t know what to say. For me it’s just amazing. Being honest, one month and a half ago I didn’t know if I would be able to be back on the tour and now I am here sharing the trophy with all of you. You don’t know how much I fought to be here. Thank you so much for all the support.

“Without a doubt it’s one of the most emotional moments in my tennis career. The support I received through the three weeks is going to stay in my heart for the rest of my life.

“I really can’t explain the feelings that I have right now but I’m going to keep trying my best to come next year.”

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Privacy