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Rafael Nadal needs one more win to break record he shares with Djokovic: NPR

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Rafael Nadal needs one more win to break record he shares with Djokovic: NPR

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Rafael Nadal will face world number 2 Daniil Medvedev in the men’s singles final at the Australian Open, with a chance to rewrite the record books.

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images


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Rafael Nadal needs one more win to break record he shares with Djokovic: NPR

 | Top stories

Rafael Nadal will face world number 2 Daniil Medvedev in the men’s singles final at the Australian Open, with a chance to rewrite the record books.

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Rafael Nadal will play in the Australian Open final on Sunday, with a chance of winning his 21st Grand Slam. The feat would set him apart from Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, who are currently tied with Nadal with 20 singles titles.

Nadal beat Matteo Berrettini on Friday to reach the final, where he will face world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev – the Australian Open runner-up last year. Nadal says he doesn’t dwell on rewriting the record books.

“To be very honest, for me it’s much more important to have the chance to play tennis than to win. [number] 21,” Nadal said after the match. “Because it makes me happier, in terms of life in general – to be able to do what I love to do, more than to achieve another Grand Slam.”

Nadal says he is just very happy to be able to face the best players in the world again, after dealing with a number of medical issues. While his knees have been a long-standing concern, Nadal has recently struggled to manage Müller-Weiss disease, a condition that causes chronic pain in the bones in the midfoot.

In Melbourne, Nadal said that for the past year he had considered the possibility of never playing again.

“I’ve been through a lot of tough times, a lot of hard working days without seeing the light, but I’m still working and still getting a lot of support from my team and my family too, no doubt,” Nadal said. , according to the tournament website.

At 35, Nadal will be the fourth oldest man to play in the Australian Open final in the Open Era. He has held an Australian Open singles title since 2009, in five total appearances in the final of that tournament.

Medvedev, 25, has just completed a 2021 campaign that ended with winning the US Open, his first Grand Slam title.

The Australian Open final could be decidedly partisan: while Nadal is a perennial fan favorite on the Tour, Medvedev has repeatedly annoyed fans during his matches in Australia.

Medvedev screamed in frustration during his lengthy fourth-round encounter with Maxime Cressy, including yelling at the referee. He later apologized for saying about the game, “It’s so boring.”

Medvedev went on to beat charismatic Australian Nick Kyrgios – and said fans who were screaming for their national hero “probably have a low IQ”.

And on Wednesday, Medvedev drew a chorus of boos in a post-match on-court interview, when he said his winning strategy came after he wondered: “What would Novak do? “

After a dramatic and contentious showdown, Djokovic was kicked out of Australia before he could play in the tournament due to his refusal to get a COVID-19 shot.

Rafael Nadal needs one more win to break record he shares with Djokovic: NPR

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