Rafael Nadal hopes to win his nineteenth Grand Slam title on Sunday evening and thereby further narrow the gap to rival and record holder Roger Federer. The Spaniard faces Daniil Medvedev in the US Open final.
The 37-year-old Federer stands on twenty Grand Slams, which means that the margin compared to the triple US Open winner pursuer Nadal is already smaller than ever.
33-year-old Nadal won his first Grand Slam tournament with Roland Garros in 2005 when Federer already had four titles to his name. The biggest difference was at the end of 2008, when the Swiss won the US Open for the fifth time in a row, bringing the score to 12-3.
In recent years, Nadal has made up for it, in particular thanks to his dominance over Roland Garros. He was already twelve times the best at the gravel tournament in Paris.
At the beginning of last year, Federer won his provisional last Grand Slam tournament with the Australian Open. Since then, Nadal has twice won Roland Garros.
Tennis players with at least 10 Grand Slam titles
- Roger Federer - 20
- Rafael Nadal - 18
- Novak Djokovic - 16
- Pete Sampras - 14
- Roy Emerson - 12
- Björn Borg - 11
- Rod Laver - 11
- Bill Tilden - 10
Nadal possibly the most successful thirties
In addition to narrowing the gap with Federer, there is a beautiful milestone in New York for the experienced Nadal. The number two in the world can become the first player in the open era to win five Grand Slams after his thirtieth.
Nadal now shares the record of four wins in his thirties with Federer, sixteen-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic, Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall.
US Open finalists Nadal and Medvedev met once before and that was a month ago in the final battle of the Montreal Masters tournament, when it became 6-3 and 6-2 for the Spaniard.
The 23-year-old Medvedev - with fifty victories the most successful tennis player of 2019 - can take an example from his compatriot Mikhail Youzhny, who is the only Russian who won the Nadal US Open. That was in the quarterfinals in 2006.
The final between Nadal and Medvedev in New York starts on Sunday evening at 10 p.m. Dutch time.
See also: Nadal: 'US Open final means a lot to me after a difficult period'