Nadal outlasts Medvedev for 19th Grand Slam title

Rafael Nadal
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Second-seeded Spaniard Rafael Nadal registered his fourth U.S. Open title by notching a 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4 triumph over fifth-seeded Russian Daniil Medvedev on Sunday in the final at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows, New York.

The Grand Slam title is the 19th of Nadal’s standout career, leaving him one behind Roger Federer’s all-time record. Nadal previously won the U.S. Open in 2010, 2013 and 2017.

Medvedev is just the second Russian man to reach the U.S. Open final, joining Marat Safin, who won the 2000 crown by defeating Pete Sampras in three sets.

The loss was just the third in the past 23 matches for Medvedev, who was playing in his fourth straight title match. He won at Cincinnati and lost in the finals at Washington and Montreal. The loss in Montreal was to Nadal.

Medvedev forced a fourth set with a strong mixture of resilience and shot-making.

Medvedev broke Nadal’s service in Game 6 of the third set to knot the score at 3-3 and then won the next game to take the lead. But after Nadal won the next game and the first two points of the following one, Medvedev made some big shots and recovered to win the game and take a 5-4 lead.

Daniil Medvedev
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Nadal swept right through the next game to tie the set but Medvedev returned the favor by scoring four straight points on his service to go up 6-5 and then broke Nadal’s service to win the set.

Medvedev maintained the momentum early in the fourth set and held a 3-2 lead. Nadal cruised through the next game on his service before Medvedev held his own to take a 4-3 lead. Nadal again tied it up but Medvedev dominated the following game for a 5-4 edge.

Nadal was trying to hold his service and went up 40-15. But Medvedev won the final four points to force the fifth set.

Medvedev appears to be battling nerves in the opening set when he committed 20 unforced errors.

But he still managed to be tied at 5-5 after winning the 10th game and temporarily holding off Nadal. But Nadal won the next two games to win the set.
It was 2-2 in the second set when Nadal began to assert control with three straight wins. Medvedev won the eighth game before Nadal won the next to claim the set.

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)