Until just then they had thought that they could not stand this guy. Not a week ago, Daniil Medvedev from New York booed and boasted about his victories. Medvedev was the anti-hero. But now, in the final of the US Open, they cheer on his points even more than on his opponent, Rafael Nadal. You simply can not like this Medvedev anymore. He is a bit like a New Yorker imagines a New Yorker: cool, not to see through.
The first sentence has everything, it lasts more than an hour. Nadal, who has lost just one set throughout the tournament, makes unusual mistakes with the forehand. Medvedev seems to succeed in what he always tries: He weakens his counterpart. Nevertheless, Nadal wins the first set, then the second. At this point, he has already run 2.7 kilometers.
But Medvedev, the 23-year-old Russian, does not lose a point. He wants to wear down Nadal, with this tactic he has this summer to two finals (Montreal and Washington) and a tournament victory (Cincinnati) brought. He accepts that he squeezes himself out like a lemon. He is still tapped all over. That he is in this final, is a miracle, in the first knockout round against the German Dominik Koepfer he wanted to give up.
He has freed himself from this situation as from countless other predicaments at this tournament. He does that with his game intelligence, which he can hide so many technical defects. Medvedev is not a complete player. He has an excellent serve and a strong backhand. Volleys he can not do that, he shovels rather and he plays the most unfeeling stops in the top-50. Nevertheless, he is in the final, not Tsitsipas, not Zverev and certainly not Kyrgios, who lack the mental strength.
You can watch the game growing in these moments
At some point Medvedev gets the idea to play more often with undercut. Nadal does not know what to do with these balls. The Russian has two break chances to win the third set. A ball Nadals is too short, Medvedev advances, he groans once loud and hammering the ball with the two-handed backhand into the corner. In the Arthur Ashe Stadium, the largest tennis arena in the world, it rips all of the seats, so loud the audience this year have not cheered. It is the final alliance between the New Yorkers and Medvedev.
You can watch the game grow in these moments, it keeps getting bigger and bigger until it becomes one of the biggest grand slam finals in history - and Medvedev is growing along with it. "Maybe this is just the birth of a new superstar," says Boris Becker in his role as an expert on the TV channel Eurosport. With two almost impossible passing balls, Medvedev stuns Nadal, who has sprinted to the net, and takes the fourth set. 2: 2nd Once the audience whistle Nadal even because he needs a Servup ever again before a serve. The Spaniard slips away from this game, he will lose it if he does not come out of his emotional low. When he wins a point, he roars, he needs the positive feelings back. In the stands, his otherwise quiet wife Xisca Perelló jumps up. Medvedev's wife Daria, on the other hand, just sits there, as if it's none of her business. Also from Medvedev it does not break out during the whole match like from Nadal. Medvedev does not turn up emotionally, just so he can be sure not to overdo.