Former world number one Mats Wilander has credited Rafael Nadal with ‘the best comeback in the Open Era’ after his Australian Open triumph.
Nadal appeared to be largely down and out when a foot injury prematurely ended his season last year.
He himself admitted he did not know whether he would be able to even make it back onto the ATP Tour after revealing the injury had plagued him for 18 months prior.
The 35-year-old headed to Australia with lowered expectations, but he is going home with a record 21st major, and Wilander says he is in awe.
“To me this is the best comeback in the Open era,” Wilander told Eurosport.
“Winning the 21st Grand Slam title, 35 years old, being 36 when the French Open comes around and he beats the best player in the world in Daniil Medvedev you would have to call him after winning the US Open.
“It is indescribable and I do not know where he finds that strength.”
If just reaching the final itself was considered a spectacular comeback, Rafael Nadal coming back from two sets down against Medvedev to win the title was little short of sensational.
“It’s just incredible,” Wilander said. “He is two sets down and you are playing Medvedev, you are not playing Matteo Berrettini – by that I mean someone who doesn’t play long rallies.
“This is physical. Somehow he figured out how to get free points on the serve, free points on the forehand.”
For more exclusive content from Tennisbuzz, including news, features, trivia, promotions and more, please be sure to sign up for our newsletter below or via our home page.
Why not test your tennis knowledge by tackling one of our fiendish quizzes too?