Rafael Nadal has proved he is a “unique” and “special” talent during his run to the Australian Open final, according to Eurosport expert Alex Corretja.
Nadal has endured an injury nightmare since bowing out of the French Open in June and had not played a tournament in five months prior to touching down in Melbourne.
The Spaniard admitted he had doubts “every single day” about whether he would ever play again as he battled the chronic problem in his left foot.
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But he has recovered brilliantly to reach a sixth Australian Open final and remain on course for a men’s record 21st Grand Slam title.
He was overcome with emotion after seeing off Matteo Berrettini in the semi-finals before telling Eurosport that he feels “alive again”.
Corretja saluted his compatriot for refusing to quit and proving the doubters wrong again.

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"I am very emotional, because we all know what Rafa brings to tennis, to our sport, to our country – Spain – and everything he transmits,” Eurosport expert Corretja said.
“He has given us so much, of course everyone was hoping Rafa could start the season well to see how he felt on his foot and we wondered if he would be able to move well, to step into the court and push hard, push strong and move with the intensity we are used to seeing with him.
“After two or three rounds we felt he was getting ready but it was very difficult to predict how far he would go. He showed again that he is unique, he is special. He is someone who will never give up."
Nadal is currently tied with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic on 20 majors. With all the talk centring on Djokovic’s quest for No. 21 in the build-up – plus his failed bid to play in the tournament after a protracted visa saga – Nadal has slipped under the radar.
Nadal has one Australian Open title to his name, in 2009, and has lost his last four finals in Melbourne. Should he win on Sunday, he would become only the second man in Open Era history to win each major twice after Djokovic.
"To be in a final of a Grand Slam after everything he has been through since Roland-Garros is just amazing,” Corretja continued.
“It’s sensational and difficult to find different words to awesome and huge. He is going to be ready to win, it’s going to be a big battle, it’s going to be very difficult to win one more major but he is ready.
“I think he proved again that it doesn’t really matter what people think from the outside, the only thing that matters is what he feels inside. This is the key for his tennis career."

Highlights: Nadal closes on 21st Grand Slam title by beating Berrettini to reach final

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