An exhausted and overwhelmed Rafael Nadal dropped an F-bomb when he talked about losing his serve when serving for the Australian Open title in the fifth set.
Nadal was 5-4 to the good and two points from victory, only to drop his serve and allow Daniil Medvedev back in the match.
Ultimately, it did not prove costly as Nadal broke back immediately and went on to serve out to clinch the win and a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title.
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Asked by Eurosport’s Tim Heman about his feelings after dropping his serve, Nadal said: “F***, one more time I am a break up in the fifth and I am going to lose the advantage again like in 2012 and 2017.
“I said okay, I lost, I was nervous, I made a double fault, I made a mistake. So I need to keep fighting.
“I can lose the match and he can beat me, but I can’t give up even if I am destroyed. I need to stay strong mentally.”
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Nadal was discounted by many upon his arrival in Melbourne, as he was making a comeback from six months out following a foot injury that led to him contemplating retirement.
“I can’t believe I resisted in a match like this after all the things I went through in the last months,” Nadal said. “I held the belief and it was one of the most emotional matches in my career.
“Today was for me and I fought a lot.”
The Spaniard had suffered heartache from winning positions in Australia on a couple of occasions, and that was what spurred him on to become the first man to rally from two sets down to win the title since Rod Laver in 1960.
“I just tried to keep believing,” Nadal said. “I said to myself that I lost a lot of time here with an advantage in the score, so maybe this was my time.”
Watch historic moment Nadal wins Australian Open and claims 21st Grand Slam title
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