Rafael Nadal won the US Open in the night from Sunday to Monday. The Spaniard settled in a thrilling final full of spectacular rallies with the Russian Daniil Medvedev and thus won his nineteenth Grand Slam title in his career.
33-year-old Nadal was too strong in five sets for Medvedev, ten years younger, who was in a Grand Slam final for the first time: 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6 and 6-4. The match on the hard court in New York took no less than almost five hours.
The second placed Nadal won the US Open for the fourth time. Earlier, the born Mallorcan took the title at Flushing Meadows in 2010, 2013 and 2017. Jimmy Connors, Pete Sampras and Roger Federer are record holders in the open era with five US Open titles.
With his nineteenth Grand Slam title, Nadal is one tournament victory away from Federer's record. The Swiss, who surprisingly lost to Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals of the US Open, has long been the record holder with twenty titles and won a Grand Slam tournament for the last time at the Australian Open last year.
Nadal owes his high number of Grand Slam titles mainly to his dominance over Roland Garros. He won the tournament in Paris no less than twelve times, including this year. He won Wimbledon twice and the Australian Open once.
Daniil Medvedev forced Rafael Nadal to the limit. (Photo: Getty Images)
Medvedev previously not loved by the American public
Medvedev never got further than the fourth round at a Grand Slam tournament until the US Open. In the run-up to the tournament in New York, he did win the Masters tournament in Cincinnati, making him rise to fifth place in the world ranking.
Earlier during the US Open, Medvedev was not particularly popular with the American public. In his third-round match against Féliciano Lopez, he behaved himself against a ball boy, broke his racket and showed the public his middle finger.
Less than a month ago, Nadal and Medvedev also faced each other in the final of the Masters tournament in Montreal and then the world's number five won only three games. This time he made it much more difficult for Nadal and made the first break of the game in the third game.
Rafael Nadal won the US Open for the fourth time in his career. (Photo: Pro Shots)
Nadal takes the lead of two sets
Nadal did not get upset and immediately restored the balance. Medvedev, the first Russian in a Grand Slam final since Marat Safin at the 2005 Australian Open, then kept pace with the Spaniard, but in the twelfth game he again lost his service and also the set.
In the second company, Medvedev missed out on a break in the opening game and survived four break points in the fourth game. Nadal, who had an answer to almost everything in the long rallies, struck two games later and did not give up that lead anymore.
Nadal seemed on his way to a fairly simple win when he took a break in the fifth game of the third set, but Medvedev did not give up. The 1.98-meter-long Russian broke back immediately and took advantage of his second set point on the service of the global number two after a number of wonderful changes of strokes in the twelfth game.
Daniil Medvedev fought back from a 2-0 deficit in sets. (Photo: Getty Images)
Medvedev forces fifth set after nice comeback
Medvedev continued to play well in the fourth company and lost a break chance in the second game. At 2-2, the number five on the placement list himself survived two breakpoints, after which he struck Nadal's service with a beautiful return and balanced the score.
In the deciding set, Nadal eliminated no fewer than three breakpoints in his first service game. Medvedev, who was treated a moment later due to cramps on his thigh, subsequently lost his service twice and was 2-5 behind.
Nadal was allowed to serve for the title, but due to a double error, he surrendered his storage. A game later, Medvedev survived two match points on his own service, after which he still had to surrender in the tenth game and Nadal finished the job on his third match point.