2022 Aussie Open Final: Rafael Nadal seeks a 21st grand slam 17 years after his first

The final of the 2022 Australian Open will see Daniil Medvedev tasked with stopping Rafael Nadal from winning what would be a record-breaking 21st grand slam.

The 35-year-old has 20 grand slam titles to his name and one more would see him usurp Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the all-time list, with the Spaniard, Swiss and Serbian all currently level.

Of Nadal’s 20 slams, 13 have come at the French Open on clay courts, while there have been two on grass at Wimbledon.

He has five titles on hard courts, but four of those were the US Open and only one of those has come down under, when he edged a five-set thriller against Federer in the 2009 Australian Open.

Nadal’s opponent on Sunday, however, is as tough as they get. 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).

Nadal has beaten Marcos Giron, Yannick Hanfmann, Karen Khachanov, Adrian Mannarino, Denis Shapovalov and Matteo Berrettini on his way to the 2022 final.

Medvedev, meanwhile, has gone past Henri Laaksonen, Nick Kyrgios, Botic van de Zandschulp, Maxime Cressy, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Stefanos Tsitsipas on his run to the final.

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