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Nadal triumph slams door on young pretenders yet again

Sport

Nadal triumph slams door on young pretenders yet again

The combative Spaniard proves the ‘old guard’ are not done just yet

MARTYN HERMAN

Not only did Rafa Nadal’s staggering comeback victory over Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open final earn him a men’s record 21st Grand Slam title, it also showed once again the folly of assuming a new order is seizing power in men’s tennis.

When Medvedev ambushed Novak Djokovic’s hopes of reaching 21 and a first men’s calendar-year Slam since 1969 in last year’s US Open final, it felt like a seismic shift with the Russian leading a takeover at the top.

That looked even more likely when the 35-year-old Nadal arrived in Melbourne after almost six months out with a foot injury as the lone rider of the fabled “Big Three”...

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