Rafael Nadal's good friend Diego Schwartzman recently expressed his views on the Spaniard's sensational comeback to win his second Australian Open title on Sunday.
Rafael Nadal broke the men's record for most Major titles, defeating Daniil Medvedev in a five-set epic that lasted five hours and 24 minutes. The Spaniard trailed the World No. 2 by two sets before launching a comeback for the ages, eventually winning 2-6, 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4, 7-5.
It should also be noted that the Melbourne Slam was the Spaniard's first Major tournament in nearly six months after a foot injury derailed his 2021 season.
Schwartzman believes that no player could have turned their fortunes around quite like the 35-year-old had over the past fortnight. However, he is also of the opinion that Novak Djokovic's absence in Melbourne fueled Nadal to go all the way.
Speaking to the press at the 2022 Cordoba Open, Schwartzman suggested that the Spaniard perhaps "believed more in his chances" when the top half of the draw was blown wide open following the World No. 1's visa cancelation.
"I think he also fed on the absence of Djokovic," Schwartzman said. Knowing he wasn't there and seeing himself training well made him believe more in his chances. I think it's admirable and spectacular what he's accomplished."
Novak Djokovic’s visa was revoked after he failed to meet Australia’s entry requirements. The Serb was detained by the Border Force and housed in a detention facility, but the verdict was overturned in federal court.
His visa was canceled for a second time later that week, as the Minister for Immigration felt his presence in the country could incite "anti-vaxx sentiments." The World No. 1 was eventually deported and could not defend his title at the Australian Open.
In an interaction with the President of Serbia, the 34-year-old disclosed that he intends to give his own account of the situation in 7-10 days.
"No one could have expected such a comeback, I don't think even he expected it" - Diego Schwartzman on Rafael Nadal's epic fightback in Austaralian Open final
During the interview, Schwartzman also praised Nadal for his sensational comeback, before commending the Spaniard for his current winning streak of 11 matches.
"No one could have expected such a comeback, I don't think even he expected it." Schwartzman said. "To have been out of court for six months and come back without losing a single match is impressive."
Schwartzman then reminisced about having practiced with Nadal on the eve of the tournament, claiming that the Matador was playing at a good level even back then.
"I remember training with him the days before the tournament started and it was as if nothing had happened to him."