Australian Open: Federer 'proud to share this era' with 'inspiration' Nadal, Djokovic sends congratulations

By Sports Desk January 30, 2022

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic each paid tribute to Rafael Nadal after he passed the pair with his 21st grand slam title at the Australian Open.

Nadal set a new men's singles benchmark, breaking a three-way tie with Federer and Djokovic on 20 triumphs, as he battled back against Daniil Medvedev.

The Spaniard, whose career had appeared to be in some doubt last year due to injury, fought for over five hours to recover from two sets down in Sunday's epic final.

Federer, through injury, and Djokovic, deported amid coronavirus controversy, were both absent in Melbourne, although they have previously let slip respective opportunities to move to 21 titles.

Both therefore recognised the scale of Nadal's achievement as they took to social media.

"What a match! To my friend and great rival @rafaelnadal, heartfelt congratulations on becoming the first man to win 21 grand slam singles titles," Federer wrote on his Instagram story.

"A few months ago we were joking about both being on crutches. Amazing. Never underestimate a great champion.

"Your incredible work ethic, dedication and fighting spirit are an inspiration to me and countless others around the world.

"I am proud to share this era with you and honoured to play a role in pushing you to achieve more, as you have done for me for the past 18 years.

"I am sure you have more achievements ahead but for now enjoy this one!"

Djokovic, posting for the first time since the tournament started in his absence, said on Twitter: "There has been some outstanding tennis played at this year's #AusOpen and the finals were exceptional.

"Congratulations to @ashbarty for an amazing performance in front of her home crowd and to Danielle Collins for an incredible tournament.

"Congratulations to @RafaelNadal for 21st GS. Amazing achievement. Always impressive fighting spirit that prevailed another time. Enhorabuena.

"@Medwed33 gave it his all out there and played with the passion and determination we have come to expect from him."

Related items

  • Djokovic breezes past Garin in Astana Djokovic breezes past Garin in Astana

    Novak Djokovic breezed past Cristian Garin in the Astana Open, taking just 62 minutes to secure a 6-1 6-1 victory in his opening match of the ATP 500 event.

    Having won his 89th tour-level title on Sunday in Tel Aviv without dropping a single set, fourth-seed Djokovic wasted no time in securing a win to set up a second-round clash against Botic van de Zandschulp.

    Also in Kazakhstan, third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas made hard work of his second-round tie against Luca Nardi, requiring two tie breaks in a two-hour showdown in a 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-3) victory to secure a spot in the last eight.

    Andrey Rublev, Roberto Bautista Agut and Adrian Mannarino also sealed their places in the quarter-finals at the Astana Open on Wednesday, while Marin Cilic and Emil Ruusuvuori won their first-round matches.

    Meanwhile, Taylor Fritz defeated James Duckworth 6-2 6-7 6-1 in the Japan Open, where there was also a victory for Denis Shapovalov against Steve Johnson.

    In the doubles, top seeds Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis overcame home duo Yoshihito Nishioka and Kaichi Uchida, with second seeds Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell also progressing past the round of 16 stage.

  • Bencic fights back to beat Bouchard as Ostapenko and Raducanu fall Bencic fights back to beat Bouchard as Ostapenko and Raducanu fall

    Belinda Bencic fought back to defeat Eugenie Bouchard in an Ostrava Open first-round contest that took over two and a half hours to settle.

    Bouchard took the first set, but Bencic came from behind to advance with a 6-7 (7-9) 6-1 6-4 victory on Tuesday.

    Eighth seed Jelena Ostapenko, runner-up in the Korea Open, suffered a premature exit as Aliaksandra Sasnovich consigned the former French Open champion to a 6-2 6-2 defeat.

    Emma Raducanu also went out in straight sets, with Daria Kasatkina beating the 2021 US Open champion 7-5 6-4.

    Catherine McNally blitzed to a 6-1 6-2 victory over Anna Blinkova, while Alycia Parks progressed past Karolina Pliskova to secure the first top-20 win of her career.

    Top seed Ons Jabeur swept aside Ann Li with relative ease in a 6-2 6-3 victory at the Jasmin Open to reach the last 16.

    Veronika Kudermetova, the second seed, breezed past Varvara Gracheva with a commanding 6-1 6-0 win.

    Anastasia Potapova, Petra Martic, Magdalena Frech and Harriet Dart were among the other victors.

  • Alcaraz stunned by Goffin at Astana Open Alcaraz stunned by Goffin at Astana Open

    Carlos Alcaraz was dumped out of the Astana Open in the first round on Tuesday, suffering a surprise 7-5 6-3 defeat to David Goffin.

    Goffin entered the draw as a lucky loser after squandering two match points to lose his final qualification match against Luca Nardi on Sunday, but he produced a fine display to see off the world number one in one hour and 46 minutes. 

    The Belgian had to rediscover his composure to take the opener after throwing away a 5-2 lead, but ultimately deserved his straight-sets win over the US Open champion. 

    Speaking on court after his victory, Goffin said: "I always believe that I have the level to cause some trouble against those guys. 

    "When you play against the world number one on a big stage, big crowd, the fire inside gives you so much power to play your best tennis because you don't have any choice."

    Stefanos Tsitsipas was the only other seed in action in Kazakhstan on Tuesday, and he advanced to the round of 16 by beating home favourite Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3 6-4.

    The Tokyo Open also lost its top seed, as Casper Ruud fell to a 6-3 6-3 loss to Jaume Munar, who claimed his first top-10 win since beating Alexander Zverev in 2019.

    But the likes of Borna Coric and Nick Kyrgios fared better, claiming straight-sets wins over Thanasi Kokkinakis and Tseng Chun-hsin, respectively.

    Wimbledon runner-up Kyrgios only dropped four further points on his serve after being forced to save a break point in his opening service game, racing to a dominant 6-3 6-1 win.

    Elsewhere, eighth seed Dan Evans fought back to beat Radu Albot 6-7 (3-7) 6-1 6-4, and Alex de Minaur lost 6-3 6-2 to Kwon Soon-woo. 

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.