As he claimed his 21st grand slam title at the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal took his place in the history books — and he’s not finished yet.
Five hours and 24 minutes.
That’s how long it took Rafael Nadal to best Daniil Medvedev for the 2022 Australian Open title. And this victory stood out from the rest, as it lifted the Spanish star to the top of the all-time grand slam titles list with 21.
Nadal has been deadlocked with familiar foes Roger Federer and Novak Djokavic as the three destined to vie for the title of the most decorated men’s tennis champion of all-time. While Rafa and Roger each battled injuries over the last year, Djokavic inched up the list, and all three were tied with 20 grand slam titles heading into the action in Melbourne.
For tennis fans, the three have defined a generation, providing countless dramatic finishes and three markedly different personalities that generated wildly loyal fanbases. However, only one of the three had the chance to compete for the title at this year’s Australian Open, and he was the last man standing.
With Nadal’s win, both Djokavic and Federer took to their social media feeds to celebrate the accomplishment. Federer called Nadal “my friend and great rival” as he offered his deepest congratulations and called him a “great champion.”
He was similarly lauded by his long list of sponsors, and the win highlighted the lengthy list of endorsements and partnerships Nadal has amassed throughout his record-setting career.
Let’s take a look at all that he’s accomplished…so far.
Time Tested: The Nadal Brand
Career prize money: $127.9 million
Estimated net worth: $200 million
Key endorsements: Kia, Nike, Richard Mille, Heliocare, Santander, Babolat, Movistar, MAPFRE
Twitter followers: 15.6M
Instagram followers: 13.2M
As part of his Richard Mille partnership, Nadal has become widely known for his flossy wrist game. In addition to launching his own line with the iconic watchmaker, Nadal has worn some of the most remarkable pieces available in the extended collection.
As he took home the title in Melbourne, Rafa wore the Richard Mille RM 27-04 Tourbillon Rafael Nadal, which was designed to commemorate the 10th year of their partnership. The watch is identifiable by its custom blue strap and orange crown.
Weighing in at only 40 grams, the watch is so light it can literally float in water – and withstand the sweat of an epic on-court battle.
Additionally, in partnership with telecommunications company Movistar, Nadal opened the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar in Mallorca, Spain. The school seeks to train the next generation of tennis talent, and one of its top stars, 17-year-old Coleman Wong, took home the junior boys’ doubles title with American Bruno Kuzuhara.
- Grand Slam singles record: 300 – 41
- World Ranking: 5
- Career-high ranking: 1
- ATP singles titles: 91
- ATP Tour Masters 1000 titles: 36
- ATP World Tour Titles: 2010, 2013
- Grand Slams: 21 total
- Australian Open (2009, 2022),
- French Open (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020)
- Wimbledon (2008, 2010)
- US Open (2010, 2013, 2017, 2019)
- Olympic Medals: Singles, Gold (2008); Doubles, Gold (2016)
- Davis Cup Victories: 2004, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2019
Nadal has become known for his powerful and patient play. And with his most recent win, his career record speaks for itself.
At 35, Nadal has a lot more tennis to play and this is unlikely to be his final turn to lift a trophy. But for now, let’s take time to cherish the sweet sensation of victory and his rise in the record books.