Rafael Nadal Australian Open 2022

‘I saw the real Rafa in Australia’ – Slam legend hails Rafael Nadal for historic 21st Slam win

Bjorn Borg was amazed by the manner in which Rafael Nadal won a record 21st Grand Slam title and feels he is the “favourite to win the French Open.”

After enduring a torrid time side-lined with a chronic foot injury, Nadal returned to the Australian Open after a near-six month absence and having contracted Covid-19 and stormed his way to the final.

En route to the final, Nadal had to beat a number of high-quality opponents in Karen Khachanov, World number 13 Denis Shapovalov and World number seven Matteo Berrettini.

In the final, Nadal slumped to a two-set deficit against now World number one Daniil Medvedev but miraculously battled back to overturn the arrears to win a record-shattering 21st Slam title.

Nadal’s triumph moved him ahead of 20-time Grand Slam legends Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. Djokovic missed out after he was deported, whilst Federer has only just stepped up in his rehabilitation from a third knee surgery.

The Spanish great also boasts an incredible 100% winning record to the new year, having won three consecutive events at the Melbourne Summer Set, the ‘Happy Slam’ and the Mexican Open to make him 15-0 for the year.

Speaking to European sport channel Sport Klub, 11-time Slam champion Borg said “I watched most of the matches from Australia at home in Stockholm (Sweden). The best news for Nadal is that he has regained his mobility from before.

“When I watched him last year at Roland Garros, he didn’t move like that and that could be one of the reasons why he lost to Djokovic.

“What I don’t know is whether he was injured. I saw the real Rafa in Australia.

“Is it [he] the GOAT [Greatest of All Time]? What I can say is that he is the favourite to win Roland Garros.”

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.