Melbourne owes Nadal one

After losing the previous three finals, all very hard for different circumstances, Nadal has not been able to break free in a Grand Slam that he adores.

Life has not been entirely fair with Rafa Nadal in his 14 participations in the Australian Open. He debuted in 2003, with only 17 years, and reached the third round. It was the beginning of a love story with the tournament not always reciprocated. Six years later he reached the final for the first time and won a disconsolate Federer, who cried thinking he could never beat the Balearic. But what came next courses at Melbourne Park was not a fairy tale for him. In 2012 he played the title game again and fell against Djokovic in an eternal battle after which both ended broken. He escaped despite having a break in favor in the fifth set, although at least he could compete face to face with the Serbian.

It was not like that in the 2014 final against Wawrinka. Problems in the back prevented him from performing at the highest level. "It was one of the toughest losses of my career," acknowledged Nadal a few days ago. He could not participate in the tournament the previous year for one of his multiple injuries and it hurt his soul not to provide a better spectacle to the spectators. "I'm sorry," he said on the verge of crying. In 2017 he returned to fight for the trophy, again with Federer. He could give everything and marveled at the world for his great recovery after two bad seasons, but again the title escaped him with a break advantage in the final part. Now, and after his umpteenth resurrection, he has not been able to remove the thorn before the rival who has won him the most times, Djokovic. Melbourne, a city that he and his family and team love, where he has made friends forever and where they treat him with a special affection, even over that of many of his own compatriots, he owes one. I hope that one day I will pay the debt.

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