Medvedev was leading by two sets and went 0-40 up on Nadal’s serve at 3-3 but the Spaniard managed to turn things around for his first comeback from two sets down since 2007 and became an Australian Open champion for the second time.
The victory also meant Nadal became the first man in tennis history to reach a record 21st Grand Slam title, surpassing his rivals Djokovic and Federer.
Speaking about a semi-final clash with the world No 5 in Acapulco, Medvedev said: “I have to learn from the best, which is him, Roger, Novak, Andy. Always when they were losing a tough fight, they were trying to get their revenge. Sometimes they managed to do it, sometimes not. That’s what I’m going to try to do if I play Rafa.”
And Nadal admitted he needed to be at his best to beat the new world No 1.
“We are in a completely different tournament, different conditions. He is a very complicated rival, very demanding, the new number 1 in the world,” he said after beating Tommy Paul in his own quarter-final.
“We already saw how hard it was to beat him in the last Australian Open, he has been playing well, so I am aware that I need to be at my 100% to have any chance.”