Rafael Nadal was the first to reach 21, breaking the men’s record for most Grand Slam singles championships by coming back from two sets down to beat Daniil Medvedev in an Australian Open final that lasted nearly five and a half hours and ended in the early hours of Monday morning.

Also read: Rafael Nadal up 2-0 against Daniil Medvedev with 2022 Australian Open Grand Slam win

When serving for the championship at 5-4 in the fifth set, he was broken, but he didn’t make a mistake the next time. It was the second-longest Australian Open final, after Novak Djokovic’s five-set win over Rafael Nadal in 2012 took 5 hours and 53 minutes.

Also read: ‘Level was high; you raised it after two sets’: Medvedev to Australian Open winner Nadal

The 35-year-old Spaniard now has one more than his long-time adversaries in the so-called Big Three, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

Also read: Rafael Nadal vs Daniil Medvedev match second longest in Australian Open history

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, two of the Big Three, congratulated Nadal on his success via Instagram and Twitter, respectively.

Federer congratulated his peer saying, “I am proud to share this era with you and honored to play a role in pushing you to achieve more, as you have done for me for the past 18 years.”

Also read: Rafael Nadal lauded as ‘Grand Slam King’ after Australian Open win

He also shared an anecdote of how both the players were “joking about both being on crutches” a few months back.

“Amazing achievement. Always an impressive fighting spirit that prevailed another time. Enhorabuena,” read Djokovic’s tweet.