Records and milestones Rafael Nadal achieved at Australian Open 2022

Records achieved by Rafael Nadal at the 2022 Australian Open
Records achieved by Rafael Nadal at the 2022 Australian Open

Rafael Nadal's incredible 2-6, 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 comeback victory against Daniil Medvedev in the final of the 2022 Australian Open was monumental in more ways than one.

In addition to winning a 21st Grand Slam, and thereby leapfrogging Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the Slam race, he also won his second Major at Melbourne Park. The rallying act in the final three sets was also the first time a player has overturned a two-set deficit in the final of the Melbourne Major in the Open Era.

In the process, the Spaniard became the second man in the Open Era to complete the Double Career Slam, the first being Djokovic. A second Norman Brookes Challenge Cup also marked the 21-time Grand Slam champion's sixth Grand Slam on hardcourt, having won the US Open four times.

The 13-year gap between his two Australian Open triumphs (2009 and 2022) shatters the previous record for time between titles at one particular Grand Slam. Jimmy Connors won his two Wimbledon titles eight years apart (1974 and 1982).

The record for the time between the first and last Majors was also improved, as 16+ years (6096 days) have elapsed between Nadal's first (2005 Roland Garros) and most recent Grand Slam. It was a one-year improvement from the record previously held by the Spaniard himself (15 years till the 2020 Roland Garros).

Another record the 35-year-old extended was his 15 years on the tour with at least one Grand Slam to his name. In the 20 years since turning pro, he has finished only five years without a Major title (2003, 2004, 2015, 2016, 2021). Nadal also became the fourth player over the age of 35 to win a Major in the Open Era (after Ken Rosewall, Federer and Serena Williams).

The five hour and 24 minute-long affair in the final was the Mallorcan's second longest match of his career and the second longest final in Grand Slam history. The longest-ever, in both instances, remains the 2012 Australian Open final that Nadal lost against Djokovic (five hours and 53 minutes).

The 21-time Grand Slam champion spent 1,024 minutes on court across his first six matches, for a total of 1,348 on-court minutes in the tournament. Since 1991, no Slam winner has had to spend as many minutes on court. The second most was Stefan Edberg during his 1992 US Open run with 1,342 minutes on the clock.

The triumph at Rod Laver Arena marked the former World No. 1's 90th ATP tour title, the fourth highest of all time behind Jimmy Connors (109), Roger Federer (103) and Ivan Lendl (94). Furthermore, the victory marked his 24th title on hardcourts.

Additionally, the fourth-round match against Adrian Mannarino also saw the 35-year-old play the longest tie-break of his career, a 30-point affair that lasted 28 minutes and ended in the champion's favor.

Records Rafael Nadal thwarted with his 2022 Australian Open triumph

Rafael Nadal prevented Daniil Medvedev from winning his second consecutive Grand Slam
Rafael Nadal prevented Daniil Medvedev from winning his second consecutive Grand Slam

Rafael Nadal's victory also meant that a number of records were prevented from being broken. Daniil Medvedev was gunning to become the first player in the Open Era to win his first and second Grand Slam at consecutive Majors. But the Russian fell one match short. The defeat also snapped a 13-match winning streak the World No. 2 had in Grand Slams.

The Russian was also looking to become only the second player to beat Nadal and Djokovic in consecutive Major finals. Roger Federer remains the only person to have achieved the feat so far, doing so at the 2007 Wimbledon Championships and US Open.

Federer and compatriot Stan Wawrinka remain the only two players to beat both Nadal and Djokovic in the final of a Major. Wawrinka defeated Nadal in the 2014 Australian Open final and Djokovic in the 2015 French Open and 2016 US Open finals.

What is the foot injury that has troubled Rafael Nadal over the years? Check here

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Edited by Nihal Taraporvala
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