As Rafael Nadal reflects, “Beating Roger Federer blew me away.”

In 2009, Rafael Nadal won the Australian Open for the first time. At the age of 22, he had already won three of the previous four Majors. Nadal got a better start in Melbourne before losing to Gael Monfils in the Doha quarterfinal.

He defeated three opponents who were outside the top-70 in straight sets to go to the round of 16. Fernando Gonzalez, ranked 14th in the world and a past finalist, was defeated by the Spaniard 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 in the fourth round, taking him one step closer to the championship.

8 in the world In the quarterfinal, Nadal defeated Gilles Simon 6-2, 7-5, 7-5, establishing an all-Spanish semifinal matchup with Fernando Verdasco. Rafa triumphed 6-7, 6-4, 7-6, 6-7, 6-4 after five hours and ten minutes in one of the most remarkable matches at Melbourne Park, turning it into an epic one!

Verdasco only had four opportunities to break Nadal‘s serve, and despite serving well and getting broken twice, Nadal still outscored his countryman by one point. Verdasco gave it his all to keep pace with the top-ranked player in the world, blocking 16 of 20 break attempts and pushing Rafa to the edge.

The older Spaniard outperformed Nadal in the longer rallies but fell behind in the shorter ones up to four strokes, hitting nearly 100 wins and more than 60 unforced errors. Rafa restarted the match in the decider and only lost a point behind the opening stroke before applying pressure to Fernando and breaking him at 5-4 after his opponent’s double fault to move to the championship match.

In 2009, Rafael Nadal played the semifinal and championship matches for more than nine hours.

Nadal had to run another marathon to win the championship despite having almost little energy left in his legs! Between Nadal and the sixth Major title was three-time Australian Open champion Roger Federer, with the two great rivals meeting at Melbourne Park for the first time.

The match devolved into an all-out brawl, and Nadal won it in four hours and 19 minutes with a historic 7-5, 3-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-2 triumph. After the semi-final match, the Spaniard had little time to rest. Nevertheless, he did his best to get off to a solid start against Roger and muster what strength he could still muster from his body.

Federer edged Nadal by one point, but not the crucial ones that decided the match. Seven service errors were made by the Swiss, who also won six of their 19 return break opportunities! In the longer points, Roger kept in touch with Rafa, but it was not enough to get him home.

To win the fourth set 6-3 and force a decider, Federer played superbly. Nevertheless, he lost distance, allowing Rafa to win the match and celebrate. Rafa will be Roger’s doubles partner when he retires at the Laver Cup in London on Friday night.

“I had little energy and had flat reactions since I was fatigued before the final. I needed to get off to a strong start, which I achieved when Toni provided some crucial ideas. I overcame exhaustion and managed to win the game, leaving me speechless for days “stated Rafael Nadal.