Rafael Nadal wins Australian Open to become most successful man in tennis history

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Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates his win. Pic: AP

Rafael Nadal has become the most successful man in tennis history by winning the Australian Open and his 21st Grand Slam title.

He took on Daniil Medvedev in a gruelling five-hour and 24-minute marathon to clinch the trophy.

Most of the build-up focused on the historic significance of the Spaniard bidding for his 21st Grand Slam but he found himself under pressure from the start.

He is now the most successful male tennis player of all time. Pic: AP

He saved two break points in a long third game but was then broken to love in the fifth as Medvedev, who was booed onto court by a section of the crowd, proved the steadier from the baseline.

Successive double faults then contributed to a second straight break and Medvedev served out the set 6-2.