Rafael Nadal beat world number 2 Daniil Medvedev in a five-set thriller to win his second Australian Open title. With 5 hours and 24 minutes on the clock, the match was the second-longest in the history of the tournament. 

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With the 2-6, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 win, the 35-year-old Spaniard made history by becoming the first male tennis player ever to reach 21 Majors. He now has one more than Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, his long-time rivals in the so-called Big Three.

“I am not going to lie, I had a hectic one last night, but I appear to be crying my eyes out as Nadal lifts the trophy. What a world!” Nadal said after winning the match and also congratulated his opponent for playing such a tough match.

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Nadal won his first Australian Open title in 2009. He then lost four other finals before his dramatic win over Medvedev on Sunday.  His win was even more remarkable considering he took part in the tournament with just two matches under his belt in the second half of 2021 because he was sidelined with a chronic foot injury and also had a bout of COVID.

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Meanwhile, at 5 hours and 24 minutes, Sunday’s finals was the second longest match in the history of the tournament after Novak Djokovic beat Nadal in five sets in 5 hours and 53 minutes in 2012. At the time, Nadal was already a 10-time Grand Slam champion while Novak had won just 4 Grand Slam titles.  

With inputs from The Associated Press