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India cricketers in awe of Rafael Nadal, praise Spanish legend after 21st Grand Slam in Australian Open

Rafael Nadal bagged his 21st Grand Slam

New Delhi, January 31: Former India cricketer Sachin Tendulkar congratulated tennis star Rafael Nadal after the Spaniard won the men's record-breaking 21st Grand Slam.

Under the lights on Rod Laver Arena, the legendary Spaniard looked down and out against Daniil Medvedev.

However, the sixth seed demonstrated his trademark big match mentality, overcoming the Russian 2-6, 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 in front of a raucous crowd in a Melbourne classic.

With his dramatic victory, Nadal has claimed sole ownership of the record for the most men's singles Grand Slam titles, moving past Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic who are both on 20 major crowns.

"That is absolutely magnificent. Stunning to say the least. From 2 sets down to come back and win your 21st Grand Slam is incredible. Congratulations @RafaelNadal!" tweeted Sachin.

Former India batter VVS Laxman also praised Nadal for his 'monumental effort' and a historic comeback.

"It isn't over until it's over. From 2 sets down, to comeback and win in Grand style is a monumental effort. Congratulations #RafaelNadal on a record 21st Grand Slam and for winning the #AustralianOpen in great fashion," tweeted Laxman.

Meanwhile, former India batter Virender Sehwag also wrote, "Rafael - Fire hai Fire. What an incredible comeback, what a champion #RafaelNadal."

In a high-quality and physical match that ebbed and flowed, a pumped-up Nadal showcased his fighting spirit to put water on a red-hot Medvedev performance.

With his back firmly against the wall after the second set, Nadal's champion mindset shone through as he began to hit through Medvedev with more success in a brutal, heavy hitting performance to table the turns.

The match which lasted more than 5 hours ended with Nadal lifting his 21st Grand Slam and second Australian Open title. Now, Nadal is one Grand Slam title clear of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic (20 each), and he has a wonderful chance to make it 22 Grand Slams in the French Open in March, where he is a 13-time winner.

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Story first published: Monday, January 31, 2022, 14:40 [IST]
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