The Latest: Federer, Djokovic congratulate Nadal on No. 21

January 30, 2022 GMT
Rafael Nadal of Spain smiles during a press conference following his win over Daniil Medvedev of Russia in the men's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, early Monday, Jan. 31, 2022. (AP Photo/Simon Baker)
Rafael Nadal of Spain smiles during a press conference following his win over Daniil Medvedev of Russia in the men's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, early Monday, Jan. 31, 2022. (AP Photo/Simon Baker)
Rafael Nadal of Spain smiles during a press conference following his win over Daniil Medvedev of Russia in the men's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, early Monday, Jan. 31, 2022. (AP Photo/Simon Baker)
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Rafael Nadal of Spain smiles during a press conference following his win over Daniil Medvedev of Russia in the men's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, early Monday, Jan. 31, 2022. (AP Photo/Simon Baker)
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Rafael Nadal of Spain smiles during a press conference following his win over Daniil Medvedev of Russia in the men's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, early Monday, Jan. 31, 2022. (AP Photo/Simon Baker)

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The Latest at the Australian Open on Sunday (all times local):

3:10 a.m (Monday)

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have offered their congratulations to Rafael Nadal for breaking their three-way tie atop the men’s Grand Slam standings and becoming the first member of the trio to win No. 21.

Federer and Djokovic both missed the Australian Open. Federer is recovering from his latest knee operation; Djokovic is not vaccinated against COVID-19 and he was deported when his visa was revoked after he flew to Melbourne.

Federer posted an Instagram message he addressed “to my friend and great rival.”

“A few months ago we were joking about both being on crutches. Amazing. Never underestimate a great champion,” Federer wrote. “Your incredible work ethic, dedication and fighting spirit are an inspiration to me and countless others around the world.”

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Djokovic praised Nadal’s “amazing achievement” in a Twitter post that added: “Always impressive fighting spirit that prevailed another time.”

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1:15 a.m. (Monday)

Rafael Nadal got to 21 first.

The 35-year-old Spaniard has broken the men’s record for most Grand Slam singles titles but he had to do it the hard way by coming back from two sets down to beat Daniil Medvedev in an Australian Open final that lasted 5 hours and 24 minutes. He was broken when serving for the championship at 5-4 in the fifth set but made no mistake the next time.

It was the second longest Australian Open final after Novak Djokovic beat Nadal in five sets in 5 hours and 53 minutes in 2012.

Nadal now has one more than Roger Federer and Djokovic, his long-time rivals in the so-called Big Three.

With the 2-6, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 win that started Sunday night and was delayed for a while in the second set when a protester jumped onto the court, Nadal also becomes just the fourth man in history to win all four of the sport’s major titles at least twice.

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Midnight

Rafael Nadal has rallied from two sets down to take the Australian Open final to a fifth set against U.S. Open champion Daniil Medvedev.

Nadal took the third and fourth sets 6-4, 6-4 after Medvedev had opened a 6-2, 7-6 (5) lead.

In the fourth, Nadal broke for a 5-3 lead and then had a set point but Medvedev saved and held to make the 20-time major winner have to serve it out again.

Nadal had no problem with that, holding at love. The match has already gone past 4 hours and 12 minutes.

The 35-year-old Spaniard’s bid for a men’s record 21st major title is still alive.

He missed a chance to serve out the second set when he was broken in a game that lasted more than 12 minutes and was interrupted by a court invader. Nadal had been facing breakpoint in the ninth game of that set when the protester jumped from the stands into the playing arena at Medvedev’s end. Medvedev is still potentially one set from back-to-back major titles.

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11 p.m.

Rafael Nadal has taken the Australian Open final to a fourth set against U.S. Open champion Daniil Medvedev.

Nadal won the third set 6-4, breaking in the ninth game and then serving out at love, after Medvedev won the first two sets 6-2, 7-6 (5).

The 35-year-old Spaniard’s bid for men’s record 21st major title is still alive. He missed his chance to serve out the second set when he was broken in a game that lasted more than 12 minutes and was interrupted by a court invader.

Nadal had been facing breakpoint in the ninth game of the second set when the protester jumped from the stands into the playing arena at Medvedev’s end.

Security quickly surrounded both players and detained the protester, who was carrying a banner with the words: “Abolish Refugee Detention.” Medvedev broke serve in that game, held and then won the tiebreaker to get potentially within one set of claiming back-to-back major titles.

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9:55 p.m.

Daniil Medvedev has taken a 6-2, 7-6 (5) lead in the Australian Open final against Rafael Nadal after a dramatic second set that was interrupted by a court invader and contained four service breaks.

Nadal was trying to serve for the set in the ninth game about 1 1/2 hours into the match and was facing a break point when a protester jumped from the stands into the playing arena at Medvedev’s end.

Security quickly surrounded both players and detained the protester, who was carrying a banner printed with the words: “Abolish Refugee Detention.” Nadal saved that point to get back to deuce, wasted a set point and then dropped the service game to allow Medvedev back into the set.

The U.S. Open champion clinched it on his first set point, on Nadal’s serve, with a backhand passing shot and then waved both arms up for the crowd seeking some support.

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8:30 p.m.

Daniil Medvedev has taken the first set 6-2 in the Australian Open final against Rafael Nadal.

The U.S. Open champion broke Nadal’s serve twice and then served it out in 42 minutes. Nadal’s first serve percentage was down to 54% compared with Medvedev’s 82%.

Medvedev is bidding to be the first man in the Open era to win his second Grand Slam title at the next major tournament. He lost last year’s Australian Open final to Novak Djokovic.

Nadal is chasing a men’s record 21st Grand Slam singles title to break a tie for the mark he currently shares with Roger Federer and Djokovic.

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7:50 p.m.

Rafael Nadal is serving first in the Australian Open final against Daniil Medvedev.

The 35-year-old Spaniard is chasing a men’s record 21st Grand Slam singles title to break a tie for the mark he currently shares with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. Nadal is also aiming to be just the fourth man in history to win all four of the tennis majors at least twice.

U.S. Open champion Medvedev is bidding to be the first man in the Open era to win his second Grand Slam title at the next major tournament.

He lost last year’s Australian Open final to Djokovic.

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6:00 p.m.

Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova moved a step closer to a career Grand Slam in doubles when they won their first Australian Open title on Sunday, beating Anna Danilina and Beatriz Haddad Maia 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-4.

The Czech pair already had two French Open’s and a Wimbledon title along with Olympic gold medals. But their win on Sunday gave them their fourth Grand Slam title in five finals and their first on hard courts.

The top seeds were forced to fight all the way by their unseeded rivals, dropping a set for the first time at the tournament and battling 2 hours, 42 minutes before clinching their victory.

Siniakova first served for the match at 5-2 in the third set but Danilina of Kazakhstan and Haddad Maia of Brazil broke her serve to prolong the match. Krejikova finally served out the match at the next opportunity.

The pair have been doubles partners since junior tennis and won the French Open junior title against a partnership including Haddad Maia.

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5:05 p.m.

Top-seeded Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova have rallied to level the Australian Open women’s doubles final against unseeded Anna Danilina and Beatriz Haddad Maia after dropping the first set.

Danilina of Kazakhstan and Haddad Maia of Brazil took the first set 7-6 (3) but the Czech pair of Krejcikova and Siniakova leveled the match when they took the second set 6-4.

The top-seeds broke Haddad Maia’s serve in the opening game of the second set and held that advantage to send the match into a deciding third set.

Krejcikova faced a break point in the sixth game but held to retain the top seeds’ advantage.

The Czech pair are bidding for their first Australian Open title, after losing in last year’s final, and are chasing their fourth Grand Slam doubles title, their first on a hard court. They won the French Open in 2018 and 2021 and Wimbledon in 2018.

The pair also are Olympic champions.

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4:00 p.m.

The startling rise of Anna Danilina and Beatriz Haddad Maia as a doubles partnership continued Sunday when they took the first set of the Australian Open women’s final 7-6 (3) against top-seeded Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova .

Danilina of Kazakhstan and Haddad Maia of Brazil have won all nine matches together since they became a doubles partnership, including the final of the Sydney International heading into the first Grand Slam of the year.

They twice led by a service break in Sunday’s final before the Krejcikova and Siniakova rallied to take the set into a tie-breaker.

Danilina and Haddad Maia broke Siniakova in the third game of the first set and both held serve to go ahead 4-2. Krejcikova and Siniakova broke Danilina in the eighth game to level the match.

Siniakova dropped her serve again in the 11th game but the top-seeded pair again broke back immediately.

Danilina and Haddad Maia then took the first six points of the tie-breaker before clinching the first set 7-6 (3).

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2:00 p.m.

Before Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev take center stage in the men’s singles final at the Australian Open on Sunday, top seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova will face unseeded Anna Danilina and Beatriz Haddad Maia in the women’s doubles final.

Krejcikova and Siniakova will be appearing in the final for the second year in a row after losing to Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka in last year’s final. The Czech pair will also be attempting to take a step closer to a career slam in doubles after winning the French Open in 2018 and 2021 and Wimbledon in 2018.

Krejcikova and Siniakova also were Olympic champions last year.

They reached the final with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Veronika Kudermetova of Russia and Belgium’s Mertens who was attempting to win her second-straight Australian Open final.

“We had to go through a lot of tough matches to get to the final, so I think I can say for both of us that we’re really proud and looking forward to the final,” Krejcikova said after the semifinal victory.

Danilina of Kazakhstan and Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil beat the second seeded Japanese pairing of Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 in their semifinal. They are unbeaten in nine matches together.

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