The win for Nadal means he now has the most Grand Slams in male tennis history, with a total of 21, and now stands alone in the men’s game.
The 35-year-old managed to beat world number two Daniil Medvedev in a five-set thriller of a match that lasted over five hours.
Federer was unable to compete at this year’s Australian Open after recovering from knee surgery as he wants to be fit enough for Wimbledon later this year.
Djokovic was also not at this year’s tournament as the 20-time Grand Slam winner had not been vaccinated, and due to Australia’s law about not letting unvaccinated people into the country, he was unable to participate in the first Grand Slam of 2022.
Nadal had also previously been out for six months with a foot injury, however, it didn’t seem to cause him too many problems throughout the tournament and was able to compete, unlike his rivals.
Speaking after overtaking his fierce rivals, Nadal had this to say about receiving messages from Federer and Djokovic: “We are always very respectful of each other.
“I think we treat this rivalry in a positive way throughout our careers. Have I had a personal message from Novak or Roger? I have received plenty of messages.
“I am sorry I have not been able yet to reply to everyone, you can imagine.
“But I really feel very proud about the way that we managed our rivalry during all our careers.
At the end of the day it’s just a game, and in some way we achieved more than what we ever dreamed when we were kids, so at the end, it’s not the fact that one has 21 and the others have 20.
“Or one has 23 and the others have 21. We have done great things for our sport and we have achieved our dreams, and we enjoy it, no. And I feel lucky to be part of this era, that has been very special.”
The Spaniard will now have a great opportunity to win his 22nd Grand Slam at Roland Garros in June.