Rafael Nadal won a record 21st Grand Slam men’s title in the most stunning fashion, fighting back from two sets down to beat Russia’s Daniil Medvedev in a classic Australian Open final.
Backed by a loud Melbourne crowd, sixth seed Nadal rallied to win 2-6 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-4 7-5 on Rod Laver Arena.
US Open champion Medvedev was going for his second successive major title.
Medvedev, 25, was in command before Nadal showed all of his renowned grit and fight to earn an extraordinary win.
The 35-year-old Spaniard has been at the centre of some of the sport’s most incredible triumphs – but this surely goes down as the most amazing Grand Slam victory of his illustrious career.
Nadal’s achievement comes only a few months after he thought he would never be able to return to the tour because of a foot injury.
In the absence of the deported Novak Djokovic and the injured Roger Federer in Melbourne, Nadal has moved one ahead of his great rivals in the race to finish with most major men’s singles titles.
It is the left-hander’s second Australian Open title and comes 13 years after his only previous success.
“Without a doubt, it is one of the most emotional wins of my career,” Nadal, who had also previously lost four Australian Open finals, said after the trophy presentation.