Rafa Roundup: “Humblest, classiest champion I’ve ever seen in any sport”

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McEnroe: “All of a sudden things have fallen into place for Rafa who has to be the humblest, classiest champion of almost any athlete I’ve ever seen in any sport. It’s well-deserved for a guy to do this like Rafa Nadal, you can see how much it meant to him to get to the finals again.”

Becker: “What a legend of our sport. Two months ago it was uncertain whether he would be able to continue playing at all after his serious ankle operation – and then he comes to Australia and plays his best tennis. I don’t think Nadal was thinking about his 21st Grand Slam title before the semi-final. He is more relaxed about it than Novak Djokovic.

“He says, I’m happy that I still can play tennis and that I’m in the final in Australia. But that will change now. Rafa has two nights before the final and he will be thinking about the 21. However, Rafa is an absolute superstar and will be able to handle it.”

With 20 Grand Slam titles under his belt, Nadal is an obvious role model for Berrettini in his pursuit for further success. “Just look at the numbers,” said 2021 Wimbledon finalist Berrettini. “I don’t know how many semi-finals Rafa has played, but I know that he has more experience in this.

“We chatted a little bit in the locker room. He told me that it was a great run, and I told him again, bravo. It’s just really nice for me to talk to him and have this kind of conversation, because I’m still learning from him, and it’s good.”


Rafa was crying in his hand trying to hide it. You could see how much this meant to him. We heard him say: “I wasn’t sure if I was able to play tennis again.” You could see that come pouring out of him. I love the match he played.

Lindsay Davenport

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  1. Rafa breaks right back!!

    Come on champ, this time serve it out please!! Please please pretty please CHAMP!!!

    • Medvedev getting a nice message?? I thought you couldn’t get treatment for cramping…isn’t that cheating?

  2. Sweet drop shot from Medvedev.

    And now, Rafa will have to serve to see it out.

    Can you do it champ! Make history without any drama Rafa!

    Stay strong champ! You’ve been here countless times! Let your experience see you through!

  3. At this point Medvedev is still serving lights out.

    Rafa, hold your serve 2 more times and AO 2022 is yours!

  4. This is what I was hoping and praying for after the 1st 2 sets.

    Now all the way? !!!!!!!!

    Oh God pleeeeease!!! I’m a nervous wreck.

  5. This is amazing. I can’t take another 5 set defeat in an Australian Open final after those matches against Roger and Nole, though … I’m trying to convince myself that this is meant to be, that Rafa’s fated to get the 21st GS title after everyone was so convinced it’d be Nole who got there first. Vamos!!

    This is incredible. He’s hardly played for months and months because of the foot injury, he’s said himself that he didn’t know if he was coming back at all, and it sounds like he was quite badly hit by Covid as well. And he can do this. What a man!

  6. Amazing! Amazing fightback from our champion Rafa Nadal! Wow!

    Rafa, now hang in there and grind out the win! You can do it champ!

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