Monday, 23 September, 2019


Nadal beats Medvedev in five-set US Open thriller

Rafael Nadal falls to the ground after winning Rafael Nadal won his previous US Open titles in 2010 2013 and 2017
Noah Ferguson | 11 September, 2019, 04:28

This was the second time he lost a service for violating the shot clock time limit. This turned into a brawl, no quarter given by either side featuring hours of intense, physical tennis. Nadal's feat ties him with Djokovic and Emerson for second on the list in men's tennis, behind Federer, who has won multiple majors in six years. Nadal was undeniably the favorite, his tennis achievements are monumental. He had endured another injury layoff earlier this year.

Serena Williams was the headline act through most of two weeks, until the final big and bold headline - wood, they call it in our business - shouted out Nadal's name and Nadal's championship match against Medvedev.

He later added: "It was incredible match". But he needed a trainer in the fifth set to massage his thigh, for the injury to his quadriceps that had troubled him in the quarter-final against Stanislas Wawrinka.

Nadal's delaying tactics were irking the Russian, but he fashioned two break points, then a third, only for Nadal to escape again. He stretched to meet shots seemingly out of his reach and racked up the miles during demanding rallies en route to a deserved 7-5 third-set win. "The nerves were so high after having the match nearly under control".

He simply didn't give in. But he had to save a break point in the last game before converting his third match point.

"It's really unusual. I think this year before I've played like three lefties in all the year", Medvedev said.

"The only thing I can say is the energy you're giving me right now, I think it will be enough for my five next matches". He alternated serve-and-volley rushes with a penchant for out-hitting Nadal at the baseline.

"The more you do this [boo], the more I will win for you guys".

The match can be divided into four parts: Medvedev's gumption. Medvedev posted a superior average speed on both his first and second serves. He was the youngest U.S. Open finalist since Djokovic was the runnerup to Nadal in 2010 at 23. The change in strategy showed just how smart a tactician Nadal is.

Medvedev displayed many of those ferocious tendencies on Sunday, turning their match into a thrilling drama.

Normally Nadal likes to thank his fans at the very end of his speech but this time, he thanked them first.

The hot-headed Russian, playing in his first grand slam final, had previously been public enemy number one in NY. After breaking to lead 3-2 in the fifth, in a game Medvedev led 40-love, Nadal broke again and served for the championship at 5-2.

Even at the very end - or when everyone, save Medvedev, perhaps, figured it was the very end - Nadal had trouble closing things out.

The decider was its own match crammed into a set. There was a lovely moment between the two competitors before the Spaniard broke down in tears.

Focus inevitably shifted to the debate around which member of the "Big Three" would finish their career with the most Grand Slam titles.

Over the summer, Nadal made history when he claimed his 12th title overall at the French Open.

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