Rafael Nadal wins record 15th Grand Slam men’s doubles title with John Isner

Gold for Rafael Nadal in men’s doubles match

Rafael Nadal won a record 15th Grand Slam men’s doubles title Saturday with American John Isner.

Rafael Nadal wins men’s doubles Grand Slam title with John Isner

By Tom Pennington

Last updated at 12:56 04 January 2008

There were tears in the eyes of the players as they climbed off the court at the Australian Open final.

But their smiles were all for the camera – until Rafael Nadal took his place on the baseline alongside John Isner before announcing the winner.

Nadal has won a record 15 Grand Slam men’s doubles titles, the last seven by himself. Saturday’s final was his eighth in Australia and his 15th overall.

The Spaniard has now won 16 titles at the Australian Open, the most at the tournament. Only the great Rod Laver – with 18 titles – has more.

Nadal, who is in his 24th year at the age of 34, has won the last six Australian Open titles.

Last year he won his 11th title in Melbourne before losing in the final to Isner in three sets.

This year, he won his first Australian Open title since November 2002 – a year that saw him win his first Grand Slam title.

After a tight three-setter against Roger Federer in the quarterfinals, he beat the Swiss in the final.

If Federer had won the title last year, it would be Nadal’s fifth. He played Isner in that quarterfinal match.

Isner was in a similar situation to the match he is entering at Wimbledon later this week when Nadal beat him for the first time at the tournament in 2004.

He was facing the great Federer in the final. But this time the American was seeded ninth and was playing on a day when a very damp Melbourne evening provided the perfect conditions for his opponent to use his forehand to great advantage.

And that was the only problem for Isner. Nadal had just made his own forehand so powerful that it was a nightmare

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