Rafael Nadal, also known as the King of Clay, has been at the top of pinnacle of the sport of Tennis for many years now. He has won all of the major grand slams which are in the sport multiple times and has the most number of grand slams by a single player to his name (22 slams). The left-handed Spaniard has not had an easy career at all as he has feared injuries at every step of his career but he has battled all odds against him and come out on the top always.
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He has won the Australian Open only two times in his career in the years 2009 and 2022, which means he would be defending his title from 16th January in the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia. Let us have a look at his top-five wins at the Australian Open. We will be moving in ascending order in terms of wins.
|1||2017 Semi-Final||Grigor Dimitrov||Nadal won 6-3, 5-7, 7-6, 6-7, 6-4|
|2||2017 Third Round||Alexander Zverev||Nadal won 4-6, 6-3, 6-7, 6-3, 6-2|
|3||2009 Semi-Final||Fernando Verdasco||Nadal won 6-7, 6-4, 7-6, 6-7, 6-4|
|4||2022 Final||Daniil Medvedev||Nadal won 2-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5|
|5||2009 Final||Roger Federer||Nadal won 7-5, 3-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-2|
- Grigor Dimitrov, 2017 Semi-Final:
This was probably the best match of the 2017 Australian Open where both players gave their all to reach the finals. Nadal started the match well by winning the first set, but Dimitrov soon equalized in the second. In the third set, Nadal won in a tie-breaker and the same happened in the fourth one but Dimitrov won this time. The fifth set was everything and the Spaniard who had more experience and strength than Dimitrov held his nerve and finished the match by winning the fifth set of the match.
2.Alexander Zverev, 2017 Third round:
This match was between a Tennis legend and a budding tennis player. The budding player, Zverev, started the match on a high by winning the first set. Nadal soon equalized in the second but the German player had other plans and won the third set in a very close affair. Nadal broke early in the fourth set and won it dominantly. The shifted momentum helped Nadal and he won the fifth set to take this incredible match with him.
3.Fernando Verdasco, 2009 Semi-Final:
2009 AO was Nadal’s ultimate test as he had to play two of the best matches of his life to reach that glorious trophy. The 2009 Semi-Final was probably a match for the ages. Verdasco started the match with a first-set win in a tiebreak but Nadal bounced back and won sets on the trot leaving him with a lead of two sets to one. Fernando Verdasco gave his all and forced the match into a fifth set. The fifth set was also a very close affair which Nadal won in the last game to reach his maiden AO Final.
4.Daniil Medvedev, 2022 Final:
Last year’s AO final was an absolute treat for all the fans to watch as it proved a very famous quote right. The quote says, “Sports don’t build character, they reveal it.” It was a true show of mental strength, character, and determination along with physical skills and strength by the defending champion Rafael Nadal. He was down in the final by two sets as the Russian player, Medvedev, was in top form. In the third set, he was trailing 3-2 with the Russian up by 3 break points in the sixth game. It was then a great comeback by Nadal as he won the third set and the fourth set rather comfortably. The fifth set was tied at 5-5 but then Nadal went on to do the unthinkable and lift the prestigious trophy.
5. Roger Federer, 2009 Final:
In my opinion, this was the best Grand Slam final that could ever be played in the sport of tennis. The match began with Nadal taking the lead in the first set in a closely fought encounter. The second set was dominated by Roger completely. The third set was the best one as it went on for 78 minutes and was finally won by Nadal in the tiebreaker. The match was forced to a fifth set when Roger won the fourth one by breaking Nadal twice. Rafa won the fifth set quite easily which was very different from the other sets of the match. It was Nadal’s first AO title which he won by beating his biggest friend as well as opponent, Roger Federer.