Rafael Nadal is the first man to win 21 Grand Slam titles, surpassing Federer and Djokovic.© AFP
Roger Federer took to Instagram to share a heartfelt message for his long-time friend and rival Rafael Nadal after the latter won the Australian Open crown on Sunday for a record 21st Grand Slam title. Nadal defeated Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open men’s singles final on Sunday, coming from two sets down in the title clash. With his victory, Nadal overtook Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the list of most men’s singles Majors and become the first ever male player to win more than 20 Grand Slam titles in singles. Nadal won the thrilling final in Melbourne 2-6, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-4, 7-5.
Reacting to Nadal’s win, Federer posted a message on Instagram.
“What a match! To my friend and great rival @RafaelNadal, 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,” wrote Federer.
“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 honored 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!” he added.
Nadal fought back from two sets down to win the next two sets and set up a decider.
In the dramatic final set, Nadal broke Medvedev’s serve in the fifth game but the Russian broke back in the 10th game to level the set.
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Nadal, however, broke back immediately to clinch victory and become the first ever man in the history of tennis to win 21 Grand Slam titles.
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