Rafael Nadal has explained the reason behind his tears following his semi-final win, attributing the emotion to the journey he’s been on with his injury recovery.
Nadal booked a spot in his sixth Australian Open final with a four-set win over Matteo Berrettini, with cameras catching the 35-year-old sobbing after the match.
Following the match, Nadal elaborated on his reaction to creating yet another slice of history.
“I went through a lot of challenging moments, a lot of days of hard work without seeing a light there,” he said.
“A lot of conversations with the team, with the family about what can happen or what’s going to happen if the things continue like this, thinking that maybe is a chance to say goodbye.
“That was not a lot of months ago. To be able to be where I am today, I really can’t explain in words how important is for me in terms of energy, in terms of personal satisfaction, in terms of being very thankful for all the support that I received from the fans and especially from the people really close to me.”
Nadal also explained the arduous path towards his eventual return to the court.
“For a long time I wasn’t able to practice,” he said.
“Sometimes I went on court and I was able to practice 20 minutes, sometimes 45, sometimes zero, sometimes two hours
“It was very, very rough in terms of imagine myself playing at the best-of-five at this moment.”
Having made his first Grand Slam final since winning at Roland-Garros in 2020, the 20-time Grand Slam champ admitted he “felt alive” once again.
“For me it’s amazing, and I’m super happy to be able to compete for the last three weeks at the level that I am doing. Not only about tennis, that’s for sure,” he said.
“It’s surprising for me to be able to play at the level that I am playing, but just compete and play tennis at the high level again, facing the most important players of the world, for me, it’s something unbelievable.”
Nadal will face the tournament’s No.2 seed Daniil Medvedev in Sunday’s final. The pair have already faced off previously in a Grand Slam final, with Nadal taking the US Open decider in 2019.