Australian Open 2021 Men’s Singles: Can Rafael Nadal break Roger Federer’s most grand slam record?

Australian Open 2021 Men’s Singles: Spanish Tennis legend Rafael Nadal can become the first player to win 21 grand slams, the most in men’s singles if he manages to win the Australian Open 2021 which kicks off from February 8 in Melbourne. The 34-year-old is currently tied with Federer, and can go past his long-time rival’s record of 20 grand slams. A win will also end his poor Australia Open record.

The Spaniard has won record-13 titles in the French Open but has managed only one Australian Open title in 2009. Nadal also holds two Wimbledon and four US open titles. On the other hand, Federer has won six Australian Open, eight Wimbledon, five US Open and one French Open titles. The duo is known for their dominance in Grand Slam titles for nearly a two decades. Their rivalry is synonymous to Ronaldo-Messi’s in football.

In the past seven years, Nadal has featured in three finals but lost to Djokovic and Federer. In the absence of Roger Federer, who has pulled himself out of the tournament amid pandemic, Nadal has the best opportunity to outclass his rival Djokovic (world No.1) and attain the record mentioned above. Last year, he had defeated Serbian in three straight sets to win the French Open. The world No.2 could have broken the record of most grand slam titles in 2020 if he had played in the US Open.

Apart from Nadal and Federer, Djokovic (17), Pete Sampras (14) and Roy Emerson (12) also feature in the top five lists of players for most grand slam victories. Nadal is only behind Serena Williams and Steffi Graf who have won 23 and 22 grand slams. He can break these records if he can extend his career for four-five years. It is because Serena and Federer have turned 39 and are likely to retire in the coming years.

The upcoming edition of the Australian Open 2021 is set to begin on February 8. The final of men’s singles will take place on February 20.