Australian Open: Rafael Nadal beats Daniil Medvedev to win record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title

Rafael Nadal outlasted Daniil Medvedev in a gruelling five-set final to win a second Australian Open and a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title.

Rafael Nadal completed a remarkable comeback in Melbourne to win the Australian Open against Daniil Medvedev.

Medvedev stamped his authority on the match early on, dominating the opening set 6-2.

He continued to impress in the second, clinching a tie-break to inch closer to a second Grand Slam title.

But Nadal, who returned from injury to compete in the tournament, roared back to win the following two sets 6-4 and set up a dramatic decider.

It was the 35-year-old Spaniard who broke his opponent first in the final set, but Medvedev immediately bounced back, helped by Nadal's anticlimactic double fault. 

Still, the Spaniard retained his composure, and Medvedev failed to hold his own serve, meaning Nadal was able to serve for the title.

And this time he made no mistake, going on to seal a 2-6 6-7 (5) 6-4 6-4 7-5 victory and a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title.

It's the first time Nadal recovered from two sets down to win a match since beating Mikhail Youzhny at Wimbledon in 2007.

Following the win, Nadal praised his opponent's efforts, "I know it's a tough moment. Daniil you are an amazing champion.

"I have been in this position a couple of times at this tournament. I have no doubt you will have this trophy a couple of times in your career. It has been one of the most emotional matches in my tennis career and to share the court with you is just an honour.

"I don't know what to say. For me it's just amazing. Being honest, one month and a half ago I didn't know if I would be able to be back on the tour and now I am here sharing the trophy with all of you. You don't know how much I fought to be here. Thank you so much for all the support.

"Without a doubt it's one of the most emotional moments in my tennis career. The support I received through the three weeks is going to stay in my heart for the rest of my life."

Having recovered well from his foot injury last year, Nadal also hinted at wanting to return for next year's competition.

"I really can't explain the feelings that I have right now but I'm going to keep trying my best to come next year."

Despite his earlier on-court outburst, Medvedev remained extremely humble in his speech, hailing his opponent as a "great champion".

"It's tough to talk after five hours and 30 minutes and losing but I want to congratulate Rafa. What he did today, I was amazed. During the match I tried to just play tennis but, after the match I asked him, 'Are you tired?'

"It was insane. You're an amazing champion."

READ MORE: Australian Open: Daniil Medvedev hit with four-figure fine for semi-final rant

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