Flushing Meadows will remember it! Rafael Nadal becomes the equal of John McEnroe at Flushing Meadows with his 4 titles, a trophy of the record of the modern era (from 1968) held by Federer, Pete Sampras and Jimmy Connors. The Spaniard, N.2 mondia took almost 5 hours to overcome the heroic resistance of Daniil Medvedev (7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4) and win his 4th US Open and his 19th Grand Slam title, a record length Roger Federer.
"Four titles here is very important to me, especially considering the difficulty I had to win tonight, said Nadal, it was a crazy game when I had control ...", he added.
Because if Nadal had largely dominated Medvedev in Montreal, Sunday there was a match, and what a match! Four hours and fifty minutes of play, 4 minutes from the record of the longest match of the US Open, 137 winning shots in total, spectacular exchanges, a turnaround of the public, breaks, breaks, a come back .. .
From the start, after a first game of 7 minutes that Nadal won on his service, the tone was given: we would not seek the knockout, but the mat. It would not be a showdown, as the Spaniard won in the semifinals against the Berrettini slugger, but a game of chess, with a lot of variations of rhythm, moves and angles, to unmount the opponent.
- On the fly -
We even saw the two players perform stolen-service that they are not very natural. And they have regularly sought to entice each other to the net, an area where they are far from comfortable and where the Russian is even generally clumsy. Yet he succeeded Sunday some nice interventions and even scored 50 points on the 74 times he found himself there.
At two sets to zero, however, the case seemed heard, especially that the Spaniard had broken to lead 3-2. But the Russian, with this time loudly supported public support, raised his level of play and pushed Nadal to a fourth inning ... then a fifth.
"In the 3rd set, in my head I started to wonder what I could do as speech after a quick defeat in three sets ... and then I played the points one by one and that's went much further, "Medvedev said, as his extraordinary fighting spirit completely reconciled with the American public.
"You booed me because I said and did things wrong, but you can change and I love you!", He said in a huge cheer, referring to the behavior he had to a ball-collector and his obscene gesture in the second round which had put the public at bay.
- Exceptional season -
The Spaniard, called "lion" by Matteo Berrettini before their half and "greatest fighter in the history of tennis" by Medvedev before their final, has an exceptional season despite debut truncated by injuries. The end of summer approaching, he has already won two Grand Slam titles at Roland Garros and the US Open, lost one final at the Australian Open and a half at Wimbledon and won two Masters 1000 in Rome and Montreal.
At 23, Medvedev will be able to console himself in a few days when he looks cold this season, especially this summer.
Victories in Sofia, final in Washington, final in Montreal, victory in Cincinnati and new final at Flushing Meadows: 36th world a year ago, he will be officially 4th at the publication of the ATP ranking Monday after his final in New York. And he is already qualified, alongside Djokovic, Nadal and Federer, for the London Masters which will bring together the eight best players of the season.
This magnificent summer course may have cost him the last necessary forces Sunday night.
ig / rock