In my lifetime I have been so lucky to be able to watch three of the best men tennis players in history plus the best British tennis player for many generations.
I was up early this morning to watch from Melbourne the final of the men’s Australian Open and Rafa Nadal play Daniel Medvedev and in what became the second longest men’s Grand Slam final at 5 hours and 24 minutes.
The odds were stacked against Rafa after losing the first two sets, but the Spaniard dug deeper than ever to win 2-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4. 7-5 and singularly takeover as the holder of the most ever Grand Slam titles at 21. The irony stretched all the way back to a Covid test centre in Serbia.
Nadal wasn’t even sure he’d step back on a tennis court a couple of months ago but it took all of his extraordinary sheer grit, tenacity and endurance to produce an astonishing comeback to see off the hard to like Russian, who always carries a look of a man looking to pick a fight.
It was a brilliant and heroic display from Rafa and what was a very long night in Melbourne was also a long morning here with plenty of coffee.