Rafael Nadal became the greatest Grand Slam tournament winner in history (REUTERS)
This Sunday is, without a doubt, a historic day for world tennis. Rafael Nadal came back from an epic final at the Australian Open against Russian Daniil Medvedev and won. Thus, he won the Grand Slam title number 21 of his career, becoming the most successful of all time in major tournaments. The Spaniard beat the Swiss Roger Federer and the Serbian Novak Djokovic, with whom he shared the merit of leading the race so far.
In a definition that lasted almost five and a half hours, the native of Mallorca prevailed over the number two in the ranking by 2-6, 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4 and 7-5. It was a truly exciting match in which Rafa, who is currently fifth in the world rankings, showed a display of character and winning mentality to win his second trophy in Melbourne (he had previously won it in 2009).
How is Nadal’s list of 21 Grand Slam titles made up? He won twice at the Australian Open (2009 and 2022), 13 times at Roland Garros (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020, being the most winner of this tournament in history), two at Wimbledon (2008 and 2010) and four at the US Open (2010, 2013, 2017 and 2019).
The Spanish won the final against the Russian Daniil Medvedev (REUTERS / Loren Elliott)
In addition, with his crown in Australia, the Spaniard became the second tennis player to win all the Grand Slam titles at least twice in the Open era, which began in 1968 (previously the Australians Roy Emerson and Rod Laver had achieved it). . The first to achieve this merit had been Djokovic in 2021 with his consecration at Roland Garros.
Now, Nadal alone assumes the leadership of the table of the greatest Grand Slam tournament winners in history and surpasses the Swiss Roger Federer and the Serbian Novak Djokovic, both with 20 trophies. The one born in Basel has 8 Wimbledons, 6 Australian Opens, 5 US Opens and 1 Roland Garros, while the one from Belgrade has 9 Australian Opens, 6 Wimbledons, 3 US Opens and 2 Roland Garros.
These three are also the absolute top winners in three of the four most important tournaments: Rafael at Roland Garros with 13, Roger at Wimbledon with 8, Novak in Australia with 9. The US Open? Federer shares the record with Pete Sampras and Jimmy Connors, all with 5 crowns.
A not minor detail in this race to be the greatest winner in history is that Federer has been drought in the Grand Slams for more than four years: he last won a title of this magnitude at the 2018 Australia Open. Along the way, he only managed to reach the Wimbledon final in 2019, where he was beaten by Djokovic.
*Best plays from the Australian Open 2022 final
THE TOP TEN OF THE GRAND SLAM TITLES CHART
Rafael Nadal: 21 (13 Roland Garros, 4 US Open, 2 Wimbledon y 2 Australia Open)
Novak Djokovic: 20 (9 Australia Open, 6 Wimbledon, 3 US Open y 2 Roland Garros)
Roger Federer: 20 (8 Wimbledon, 6 Australia Open, 5 US Open y 1 Roland Garros)
Pete Sampras: 14 (7 Wimbledon, 5 US Open y 2 Australia Open)
Björn Borg: 11 (6 Roland Garros and 5 Wimbledon)
Ivan Lendl: 8 (3 Roland Garros, 3 Wimbledon y 2 Australia Open)
Jimmy Connors: 8 (5 US Open, 2 Wimbledon y 1 Australia Open)
Andre Agassi: 8 (4 Australia Open, 2 US Open, 1 Roland Garros y 1 Wimbledon)
John McEnroe: 7 (4 US Open y 3 Wimbledon)
Mats Wilander: 7 (3 Australia Open, 3 Roland Garros y 1 US Open)
THE OTHER GRAND SLAM TITLES WINNERS
11°- Stefan Edberg y Boris Becker: 6
12°- John Newcombe y Rod Laver: 5
13th- Guillermo Vilas, Ken Rosewall, Jim Courier and Manuel Santana: 4
14th- Andy Murray, Jan Kodes, Arthur Ashe, Stanislas Wawrinka and Gustavo Kuerten: 3
15°- Illie Nastase, Patrick Rafter, Lleyton Hewitt, Marat Safin, Stan Smith, Sergi Bruguera, Yevgeny Kafelnikov y Johan Kriek: 2
16th- Juan Martín del Potro, Gastón Gaudio, Andrés Gómez, Andy Roddick, Michael Chang, Goran Ivanisevic, Dominic Thiem, Vitas Gerulaitis, Pat Cash, Michael Stich, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Marin Cilic, Andrés Gimeno, Manuel Orantes, Roscoe Tanner , Petr Korda, Carlos Moyá, Mark Edmondson, Adriano Panatta, Brian Teacher, Yannick Noah, Thomas Muster, Richard Krajicek, Thomas Johansson and Albert Costa: 1