Nadal claimed undoubtedly one of his greatest title victories in his 29th Grand Slam final, going on to win his second Australian Open, 13 years after his first in 2009.
Federer was quick to congratulate long-time rival Rafa Nadal for his historic victory over Daniil Medvedev that put the Spaniard one Grand Slam clear of the Swiss legend and world number one Novak Djokovic on the all-time Grand Slam titles race.
“What a match! To my friend and great rival, Rafael Nadal. Heartfelt congratulations on becoming the first man to win 21 Grand Slam singles titles.
“A few months ago we were joking about both being on crutches. Amazing. Never underestimate a great champion.
“Your incredible work ethic, dedication and fighting spirit are an inspiration to me and countless others around the world.”
Nadal will turn 35-years-old in June
Federer missed the Australian Open to continue his rehabilitation from knee surgery, while Djokovic was deported from Australia on the eve of the tournament due to visa issues related to the fact he was not vaccinated against COVID-19.
“I am proud to share this era with you and honoured to play a role in pushing you to achieve more,” added Federer.
“As you have done for me for the past 18 years. I am sure you have more achievements ahead but for now enjoy this one!”
Following the Australian Open, Nadal said he would keep fighting to return next year to defend his title.