Rafael Nadal has won a record-breaking 21st grand slam after outlasting Russian challenger Daniil Medvedev 2-6 6-7 6-4 6-4 7-5.
The 35-year-old has now surpassed both Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the all-time list, with both still on 20.
However, this is just Nadal’s second win at the Australian Open.
Of his previous 20 slams, 13 have come at the French Open on clay courts, while there have been two on grass at Wimbledon. He had five titles on hard courts, but four of those were the US Open and only one in Australia, until now.
On that occasion, he edged a five-set thriller against Federer in the 2009 Australian Open.
Nadal’s vanquished opponent on Sunday, is as tough as they get and this was no easy victory.
Medvedev is the reigning US Open champion on the hard court surface and was a finalist in Melbourne 12 months ago.
The 25-year-old is something of a hard court specialist, having reached the final of grand slams four times since 2019, one of which he lost to Nadal (US Open 2019).
But despite being two sets down, Nadal drew on his legendary stamina and endurance to prevail in a truly heroic performance.