Rafa edges ahead in the race for male slams but I feel for Daniil – Day 14 Australian Open.

Firstly, it is obviously a great achievement for Rafa to win his second Aussie Open title and more importantly one that puts him top of the male slam charts for the time being. It is 21 not out for Nadal. To come back from two sets down and I think I read it is the first time he has done that since Mikhail Youzhny at Wimbledon in 2007 and the first time he has done it in a slam final is no mean achievement at 35 years of age. Medvedev was clearly on top in the first two sets and was dominating, the Russian also had three break points midway through the third and it could have been game over. Rafa, as he has done so many times though found a way through to keep himself afloat and as the match progressed Medvedev was the one starting to tire and became more impatient in the rallies. It is hardly surprising when you think the match lasted for 5 hours and 24 minutes. I think Nadal impressed me with the way he closed the net down, showing once again just how many options he has to his game, something which is underrated. It will go down as a classic and rightly so. I do not need to sit here and sing Rafa’s praises any more than that though as a worldwide media and fanbase will do that for him, he is a great competitor and fantastic player, we all know that, end of.

I didn’t enjoy watching Daniil’s presser after and I cannot help but feel really sorry for him, I have left it for you at the bottom of the post. I think it is very sad that he feels this way and he has every right to. I do not think the Australian Open has covered itself in glory this year, that isn’t all the events fault but some of it surely is. Firstly, there was the whole farce with Djokovic, then the crowd have been very disrespectful to a lot of players and there was even the saga where they banned the ‘Where is Peng Shuai?’ t-shirts before backtracking on it. For me, most of this has taken a fair bit of gloss off the tournament, then again it doesn’t rank anywhere near as high as Wimbledon or the US Open in my list anyway. Medvedev shouldn’t feel like he does about the crowd and details like this can make huge differences in matches. Calling out between serves, booing etc. Some will say he asked for it as he had a few run-ins with the crowd but that was because he felt they were being disrespectful in his match against Kyrgios as an example. The Russian doesn’t conform to the norm and he is punished for that, probably a reason why I like him, good on him and don’t change pal! The fact the Australian Open has bought back some bad memories and made him come out with, “From now on I’m playing for myself, for my family, to provide my family, for people that trust in me, of course for all the Russians because I feel a lot of support there. I‘m going to say it like this. If there is a tournament on hard courts in Moscow, before Roland Garros or Wimbledon, I’m going to go there even if I miss the Wimbledon or Roland Garros or whatever. The kid stopped dreaming. The kid is going to play for himself. That’s it. That’s my story. Thanks for listening, guys.” It is also very interesting what he says about the NextGen stuff, again I fully believe this. He wasn’t salty in the slightest all he had was huge praise for Nadal in terms of achievements, mentality and physicality but this interview shows the struggles he feels like he has had to endure on his trip and I make him right. Keep going Daniil, you do have a lot of admirers out there, don’t let these people get to you.

Al Davies (Andy Del Potro).

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