Rafael Nadal thought final would never end

 

Rafael Nadal thought his epic Australian Open final against Novak Djokovic was "never going to finish".

The match was eventually won by the Serbian 5-7 6-4 6-2 6-7 (5/7) 7-5 in five hours and 53 minutes, making it the longest grand slam final of all time and also the longest match ever played in the tournament.

It said much for both players' endurance that the quality of tennis arguably improved as the match went on.

The defeated Spaniard said: "You look around and you see the watch, five hours, four hours, three hours, finally five hours 53. It seems like it's never going to finish.

"But it's nice to be there fighting, trying to go to the limit.

"It's something I really enjoy and I always said it is good to suffer.

"When you are fit and have passion for the game you are able to enjoy suffering."

Nadal was positive in defeat, and especially pleased he had been able to conquer his demons in competing well with a man who has now beaten him on seven successive occasions.

The world number two has admitted previously he has a mental block when playing Djokovic but he felt this match may have gone some way to addressing the problem.

"I am very happy about my mentality, it worked well at the big moments," he said.

"I didn't have any mental problems against him. I had mental problems against him in 2011 but not today."

While there was plenty of honour for Nadal, the glory went, yet again, to Djokovic.

His victory made him just the fifth man to win three successive grand slam crowns following his victories last year at Wimbledon and the US Open.

And he admitted that among all his wins, this was the best.

"Wimbledon is right up there because it was the tournament I always wanted to win but this comes out on top because we played for almost six hours, it was incredible," he said.

"It was the longest grand slam final of all time. Just hearing that fact makes me cry. I am very proud to be a part of history, to be among the elite group of players who have won this trophy several times.

"I had a lot of chances to win it in four sets but he deserved to prolong it and then really both of us could have won the match, it could have gone either way."

PA

BUY WIMBLEDON TICKETS

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy