Former doubles world No. 1 Sania Mirza hailed Rafael Nadal as an inspiration, saying he proved himself to be an absolute warrior.

Nadal created history at the Australian Open, when he beat Daniil Medvedev in the final to win his 21st Grand Slam. The way he won was the hallmark of a champion, as he came back from two sets down to take the match.

By winning the match, he became the most successful tennis player to have ever played the game. No. 21 meant he surpassed rivals Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, who are currently sitting on 20.

Mirza hailed Nadal as an inspiration, calling him a top class professional and person.

“What an absolute champion and even better human, you are so inspiring in so many different ways, thank you for showing us the only way and that is to fight @RafaelNadal,” the Indian player wrote on Twitter.

Mullings

After losing in the Australian Open women’s doubles first round with Nadiya Kichenok, Mirza hinted at her retirement from the sport. However, she went ona better run in the mixed doubles event, as she and Rajeev Ram made the quarter-final.

“I think I’m regretting making this announcement so soon because this is all I’m getting asked about,” Mirza said after her mixed doubles loss.

“Every time I play, this is not what I’m thinking, that I’m going to stop. I’m playing this year like any other year, I’m playing to win every match that I play and that’s the reason I’m still playing.

“I’m not going to go on the court and just be like, well I’m going to have a good time. No, because I still think I’m a contender to win at these events. So no, I’m not really thinking about coming here for the last time.

“The amount of times I’ve been asked, I’m thinking of changing my mind to come back here again next year and try,” she concluded.

Read more: Nadal confident Medvedev will earn crowd support – “He has plenty of time to enjoy amazing crowds”

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