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Rafael Nadal’s best memory – 2009 edition: The first Australian Open



Rafael Nadal’s career is studded with great successes and incredible records: with 19 Slams he is aiming Roger Federer’s record, but the Spaniard has achieved other great goals, such as the twelve triumphs at the Roland Garros and all the titles on clay-courts.

For each season, however, there is a particular goal, an achievement that should be highlighted. In 2009 Nadal won his 6th Slam title, once again beating Roger Federer in a final of a Major, for the second time on a different surface of the clay-courts.

For the first time in his career, Nadal started the season playing the Australian Open as seed no.1. In the first four rounds, he didn’t lose a single set, beating Christophe Rochus, Roko Karanušić, Tommy Haas and Fernando González respectively.

Even in the quarter-finals, he had no particular problems eliminating Gilles Simon. In the semifinal he faced his countryman Fernando Verdasco and, after an unexpected and incredible battle, Nadal won in five exciting sets, reaching his first final at the Australian Open.

Once again Nadal faced his nemesis Roger Federer, and once again the Spaniard defeated his opponent in a Slam final, winning his first title at Melbourne with the final score of 7-5, 3-6, 7-6(3), 3-6, 6-2. Roger Federer, during the award ceremony, said in tears: “This is killing me.”

The secret of the Rafael Nadal victory at the Australian Open 2009 explained by uncle Toni
Toni Nadal told a particular anecdote about the semi-final against Verdasco: “The semi-final against Fernando Verdasco, a day and a half before the final, lasted 5 hours and 14 minutes and required a physical and emotional effort difficult to overcome.

When he took the court for the warm-up an hour before the final our worst forebodings were confirmed: Rafael had no energy, his muscles were tense, his legs ached, as well as his arms and head. I tried to make him understand that he should make one last effort.

He replied that he had no strength, that he could not run. When I realized that the situation would not improve on the court, I decided to stop training and we went back to the locker room. Suddenly I became Barack Obama! It was necessary to create a relaxed atmosphere: “Yes, we can!” ‘Repeat it to yourself, Rafael!

We laughed and he went back to the usual one!” A few months later Rafael Nadal sensationally lost the fourth round at Roland Garros against Robin Soderling: Roger Federer won the French Open that year and, a few weeks later, Wimbledon, surpassing Pete Sampras’ Slam record.

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“Good Person”: Rafael Nadal Opens up on His Relationship With Rival Novak Djokovic



Many tennis fans wonder how Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic get along outside the tennis court. Their conduct towards each other on the tennis court is always respectful, and that translates outside the court as well, as admitted by Nadal. The Spaniard spoke about his relationship with Djokovic, whom he called a good person.

“I have a good relationship with him. Is a good person. We must relativize things between us,”  Nadal said, in a recent interview, throwing light on his camaraderie with Djokovic.

There was also speculation among fans as to what Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic spoke about at the end of their French Open 2020 final. Interestingly, it was one of the most one-sided battles they have played over the years. However, Nadal said that Djokovic, with whom he shares a strong relationship, simply congratulated him and nothing more.

Rafael Nadal understands why Novak Djokovic did not say much

I could not talk to him. He congratulated me on the track and that’s it. It is normal,” Nadal said. He said he understands that Djokovic was not in a mood to talk, as no one usually is, after a heartbreaking loss.

When you lose a game like that, you don’t really want to talk. I understand it,” Nadal added.

Nadal avenged his one-sided loss in the 2019 Australian Open final against Djokovic. The two men also shared a respectful exchange during the trophy ceremony post their match. Nadal lauded Djokovic and said he hopes to keep facing him, further adding to their already great rivalry.

What you’re doing in tennis is very very special. Hope to keep facing you [Djokovic] on the court for the next couple of years,” Nadal said to Djokovic.

The mutual respect between the two stars

Despite not having a conversation with Nadal after the match, Djokovic spoke highly of Nadal in his post-match presser. Djokovic highlighted why Nadal is a great champion. He also admitted that it was one of those days where Nadal was simply the better player and there was not much he could do to tame the ‘King of Clay’.

I was also thinking that these conditions are more favorable to me. I was feeling great throughout the tournament playing. […] But, yeah, I mean, Rafa has proven everybody wrong. That’s why he’s a great champion. He just played a fantastic match today,” he said.

The two champions are expected to resume their rivalry at the ATP Finals next month. While they will not face each other in the Round Robin stage, the anticipation of another Nadal-Djokovic final is already running high.

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