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Only twice has Rafael Nadal lost with the advantage of two sets. It was against Fabio Fognini, who defeated him 3-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 and 6-4 in the third round of the 2015 US Open, and against Roger Federer, who beat him 10 years before in the final of the Masters 1000 of Miami by 2-6, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5), 6-3 and 6-1. The champion of the US Open and already holder of 19 Grand Slam titles has a well-earned reputation for strength in the games that consume the five sets. He has been pushed to them 34 times, with only 12 losses, which makes a balance of 64.7% of wins.

Daniil Medvedev led him to a very delicate situation, getting up from two sets down and a break in the third. Few gave a penny for the survival of the Russian, who prolonged the fight before falling 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6 and 6-4, after four hours and 49 minutes of a frantic battle, genuinely New York. In his twenty-seventh final of a major , Nadal ran into a debutant who never lost his face to the game and even had a ball to equal five in the last set, after having two breaks against. The fact that he had never played a match that consumed the five sets adds even more merits to the Moscow giant.

Nadal successfully faced a similar sequence in three other games. The first of them in his debut in New York, in 2004, before the German Ivo Heuberger. The second, in the third round of Wimbledon, in 2007, against Robin Soderling, the man who two years later would eliminate him in the round of Roland Garros, in one of his only two losses in the tournament. And the third, in the famous final for deliveries of Wimbledon 2008, against Roger Federer.

In addition to being an exceptional tennis player, who has managed to evolve to exercise his power on any type of surface, Nadal has two of his main arguments in physical and mental strength. An example of constancy and determination, of resilience, is very difficult to neutralize over the long distance, where it is necessary to maintain a high competitive pace for a long time.

The management of extreme situations

Dominic Thiem, one of the players who already knows how to beat him in clay but has fallen in two consecutive finals of Roland Garros and also ended up giving up last year in the quarterfinals of the US Open, after another period of combat: 0-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-7 (4) and 7-6 (5). Being good or less good, few manage extreme situations like Spanish. Nadal intimidates. The weight of its history is enormous. Arrived at the final melee, there are many who wrinkle. Medvedev did not, imperturbable, with an impudence that is missed among the new generation, whose reverential respect for their elders is often accompanied by faint-hearted attitudes.

The authority of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic in Grand Slam tournaments starts from their rennet in circumstances that are still exceptional in the tennis course, such as playing matches for the best of five sets. Even better than Nadal's percentage is that of Djokovic, who brings out 74.3% of the five-set duels: 29 wins in 39 games. Both have starred in three confrontations of the longest distance, two of them with victory of the Serbian, which was imposed last year in the Wimbledon semifinals, with 10-8 in the fifth set, and in the Australian Open of 2012, in the Longest final of the tournament: five hours and 53 minutes, and fell in the semifinals of Roland Garros 2013.

Federer, 30 wins and 23 losses, 56.6% of success, is the one who offers a lower percentage of success in the territory that occupies us. On his head the defeat against Djokovic still weighs in the Wimbledon final, after having two tournament balls. Nole won by 7-6 (5), 1-6, 7-6 (4), 4-6 and 13-12 (3), at the start of the new super tie break .

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