Rafael Nadal (Image: AAP/Mark Evans)

Memories from the past in the Ashes "pink ball" Tests in Adelaide and Hobart, the late-night finishes a reminder of a youth spent listening to transistor radios, catching the latest on Tests in distant lands -- England, the West Indies, India and New Zealand. Last night’s explosive end to the fifth and final Test was as astonishing as England’s capitulation in Melbourne.

The second Test session averaged 1.28 million nationally and the final session 1.19 million after being cut short by the Australian win. Seven’s coverage averaged 1.21 million for the three sessions from 3pm. Foxtel averaged a high 394,000. Solid as those figures were, they didn’t match the final hour of the drawn Sydney Test when well over 2 million people watched on both Seven and Foxtel.

The 2022 ratings battle will start on January 30 when the Djokovic-less Australian Open (which kicks off today on Nine) wraps up with the men’s final -- Nine is banking on "Rafa" Nadal to be there and be the network’s ratings good guy.