‘I thought it was a video game!’ – Roland Garros icon in awe of Rafael Nadal Australian Open level
Former world number three Yannick Noah could hardly believe what he was seeing when Rafael Nadal overcame Daniil Medvedev in this year’s Australian Open final.
The 1983 Roland Garros champion is in awe not only of the physical capabilities of Nadal but also the level of his abilities at such a late stage in his tennis career.
Noah himself retired at 35 in 1997, the same age that Nadal is now having just won a record 21st Major title and still ranked within the ATP top 10.
“I don’t know, 35, so obviously that captures the imagination,” the Frenchman said on the Super Moscato ShowIt is extraordinary. At his age, I could no longer walk. He physically dominates the guys, I find that extraordinary,” Noah said on podcast The Super Moscato Show.
“The level of play at the end of the final, I wondered if it was not PlayStation.
“It was amazing.”
The 2022 Australian Open final was the third longest Slam final ever by duration, clocking in at five hours and 24 minutes on court, just two minutes short of second place, the 1992 US Open final between Stefan Edberg and Michael Chang.
Nadal did contest the longest Slam final ever, the five hour 53 minute epic against Novak Djokovic in the final of the 2012 Australian Open.
Back then the Spaniard was just 25, the same age that Medvedev was at the 2022 Australian Open.
Moving forward, Nadal is set to compete at the Abierto Mexicano next week in Acapulco, Mexico.
The 35-year-old has won the ATP 500 event three times before, twice in 2005 and 2013 when it was played on clay and, following its transition to hard courts from 2014 onwards, in 2020, defeating American Taylor Fritz in the final.
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