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  1. Tennis
  2. Australian Open

Australian Open: Record-breaking Rafa

Rafael Nadal made history on Sunday, coming from two sets down to beat Daniil Medvedev and win a record-setting 21st Grand Slam title.

The Spaniard fought to the absolute end and was driven to the finishing line by a passionate crowd, eventually claiming a 2-6 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-4 7-5 victory and that miracle in Melbourne has only enhanced his claims of more titles to come in 2022.

Six months ago, an injury-ravaged Nadal was unsure on whether he'd even be able to continue the pursuit of his tennis dream, but hard work and a steely determination has seen him enter his name in the record books.

The 35-year-old warmed up for the Australian Open with a title triumph at the Melbourne Summer Set and that victory bolstered his belief of following up with the big one.

The mighty Majorcan becomes only the second man in the Open Era after Novak Djokovic to win all four Majors twice and, although set to turn 36 before the French Open comes around in June, he heads to Paris as a warm favourite.

PlayerGrand Slam Titles
Rafael Nadal21
Novak Djokovic20
Roger Federer20

Nadal has claimed 13 of his 21 Grand Slam successes in the French capital and is 11/8 to regain the crown on his beloved clay in Paris.

There is no doubt that the Spaniard still has the game and confidence to add to his illustrious haul and he is also worth considering at 10/1 to win a third Wimbledon title in July.

Medvedev could come back with a vengeance

It wasn't to be for Medvedev at the Australian Open but that was a fourth Grand Slam final for the Russian world number two and there are surely plenty more to come.

The 25-year-old has had to play second fiddle in three of those finals but was a worthy winner of the US Open at the back end of last year and will head to Flushing Meadows as one of the favourites for glory.

Medvedev is considered a hard-court specialist - 12 of his 13 ATP Tour titles have come on that terrain - and at 3/1 he looks a likely candidate to strike again in the States in September.

The Russian has never really taken to clay but his big serve also makes him a serious threat at Wimbledon, where he is available at 10/1.

Alcaraz hoping to follow in Nadal's footsteps

Nadal may be coming to the end of his career, but Spain may have found an able replacement in teenage sensation Carlos Alcaraz.

The 18-year-old Next Gen star is already up to world number 31 and there was enough evidence in his efforts at the Australian Open to suggest his time may be fast approaching.

Alcaraz was a third-round casualty in Melbourne but was unfortunate to bump into Matteo Berretini, an eventual semi-finalist, and even then he forced the Italian seventh seed to a fifth set tiebreak.

Having also reached the quarter-finals of the US Open last year and claimed a maiden ATP Tour title in Umag, Alcaraz already looks destined for big things.

That win on the clay of Umag shows his versatility regarding surface and it would be no great surprise were he to cause a stir at the French Open in June. The Murcia man is 20/1 to conquer Paris, while he is 33/1 for US Open glory at the back end of the year.

Berrettini bidding to go one better at Wimbledon

Berrettini is becoming a regular figure at the backend of Grand Slams and his semi-final run at Melbourne Park certainly enhances his winning prospects at Wimbledon in July.

The Italian was beaten in four sets in his semi-final showdown with eventual winner Nadal, but he had earlier shown his desire with five-set wins over the rejuvenated Gael Monfils and Alcaraz, while also accounting for Pablo Carreno Busta.

That was a fourth consecutive Slam in which Berrettini had reached at least the quarter-final stage and that consistency is going to stand him in good stead.

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Australian Open: Medvedev could be the man in Melbourne

The 25-year-old made the last eight at the French and the US Open last season, so can't be discounted at either, but Wimbledon may be the destination where he strikes.

The Rome native finished runner-up to world number one Novak Djokovic at the All England Club in 2021 but looked a natural on the surface and is a likely candidate for the title if the Serb slips up.

Berrettini, who is a five-time winner on the ATP Tour and has claimed grass-court titles in Stuttgart and at Queen's Club, is 8/1 to go one better at Wimbledon this year.

Canadian duo knocking on the door

Since Milos Raonic's defeat in the final of the US Open in 2016, Canada have been starved of a male Grand Slam finalist but they have unearthed two potential stars in Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov.

Both were beaten at the quarter-final stage as they bumped into Medvedev and Nadal respectively, but it offered plenty of promise for Majors in the near future.

Auger-Aliassime had dumped out Dan Evans and Marin Cilic before throwing away a two-set lead against Medvedev. Meanwhile, Shapovalov had outclassed Reilly Opelka and Alexander Zverev before also losing in five to Nadal.

With Auger-Aliassime only 21 and Shapovalov just one year his elder, time is very much on their side and it shouldn't be long until they are challenging for Grand Slam silverware.

Clay would be the pair's weakest surface, so Wimbledon or the US Open should be where they are feared most.

Auger-Aliassime is 20/1 for a Wimbledon win while Shapovalov is 14/1 for victory at SW19.

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