Rafael Nadal Beats Daniil Medvedev in Five Sets to Win US Open for 19th Major Title
(September 8, 2019) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY- Rafael Nadal won his fourth US Open title for his 19th major trophy by defeating No. 5 Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4 in four hours and 51-minutes on Sunday in Arthur Ashe Stadium. It’s Nadal’s overall career 84th singles title.
Nadal dropped only one set en route to the final.
This was Nadal’s second meeting against Medvedev, he dominated him the Montreal final 6-3, 6-0.
Like the women’s final on Saturday, where Bianca Andreescu beat Serena Williams, the winner of the Montreal final, also took home the US Open trophy.
In the first set, which lasted 62 minutes, it was the Russian who struck first with a break in the third game to go up 2-1. Nadal rebounded with a break back and a hold at love.
In the eighth game, Nadal could capitalize on three break point chances, but the Spaniard closed on a break point chance in the 12 game to end the set 7-5.
Nadal only had 47% of his first serves in, to Medvedev’s 67%. Nadal hit 10 winners and 10 unforced errors, while Medvedev hit 16 winners to 20 unforced errors.
Medvedev came out in the second set missing a chance to break Nadal’s serve in the opening game.
The Russian rebounded from 0-40 in the fourth game to hold for 2-2. Nadal, always relentless, did not let a break point slip on Medvedev’s next serve, breaking for 4-2, holding for 5-2 and closing the set at 6-3.
Nadal hit 8 winners versus 7 unforced errors to Medvedev’s 14 winners and 9 unforced errors. Nadal won 74% of his first serve points.
In the third set both men exchanged breaks in the fifth and sixth games. Nadal failed to get ultimate break of serve to go up 5-4 and both men remained on serve until the 12th game when Medvedev broke Nadal’s serve at 15 to win the third set 7-5.
In the fourth set, Nadal withstood a break in the second game but held strong for 1-1. Medvedev fought past a break point for a 3-2 lead. Medvedev came back to break in the 10th game to force a fifth set.
The Russian had 15 winners and nine unforced errors, Nadal had 13, winners and eight unforced errors. Nadal was 0-2 on break points in the set, Medvedev was 1 for 2.
In the fifth set, Nadal saved three break points to hold for 1-1, in a game where he had a time violation warning.
In a game in which Medvedev had a 40-15 lead, Nadal came back to break serve to get a crucial break in the fifth set for a 3-2, lead and then again for a 5-2 lead. Ndal failed to serve out the match at 5-2, getting a time violation which gave him an automatic fault, and he hit a fault right afterwards to double fault, Nadal had two match points in Medvedev’s next serving game but could not convert. Nadal saved a break point and closed out the match 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4.
The 33-year-old Nadal now stands just one major title behind Roger Federer, who has the all-time record for men at 20. The Spaniard has been part of 27 major finals, just four behind Roger Federer and 2 ahead of Novak Djokovic.
Nadal has captured more majors in his thirties than anyone – this US Open trophy is his fifth major won in his thirties, more than Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic who each have four.
The “Big 3” – Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have won the last 12 straight major titles, as well as 51 out of the last 59.
The Spaniard has now extended his unbeaten streak against players from Russia 20 times in a row.
He’s currently on an 11-match win streak dating back to his run to the Montreal masters trophy in August. While the court was being prepared for the trophy ceremony, Nadal was in tears watching a montage of all his major wins.
Extended video of Rafael Nadal watching the video montage to his 19 Grand Slams. pic.twitter.com/7seML9GjBN
— Nick Zaccardi (@nzaccardi) September 9, 2019
The 23-year-old Medvedev is having a career year. He’ll be No. 4 in the world on Monday after reaching his first major final. He’s 50-17 on the year, with five winner’s trophies. The last Russian to win a major was Marat Safin in 2005. Safin was also the last Russian male to win the US Open in 2000, over Pete Sampras. This is the first time that Medvedev has gone past the fourth round of a major.
“I definitely will remember tonight,” Medvedev said in his news conference. “I’m sure even talking about Rafa’s 19 Grand Slams, I’m sure he remembers his first final, even though he won it and I lost it.
“I mean, was amazing match. It’s an amazing story. All this summer is amazing for me. I will remember every moment of it. I have a really good memory if we talk about tennis. I’ll definitely remember it even when I’m, like, 70 years old.”
“As I said in my speech, it was true, I was thinking, Okay, in 20 minutes I have to give a speech. What do I say? Something like this.
“I was like, Okay, okay, just fight for every point, don’t think about these things. It worked out not bad.
“Was I close to winning? Yes, one set away. I mean, had breakpoints at 5-4. I will remember everything of it. I will be disappointed with the result, but I will be happy with the way I played, as I say, the whole summer, the whole US Open.”
Medvedev went from villian to hero over the course of the US Open fortnight.
“I have to say I’m being myself, talking about bad things, not proud of them, but I was being myself. Talking about good things and getting the crowd back, which I should be surprised.
“Again, I was being myself. I was fighting for every point. I think they appreciated it. As I said, being break down in the third, I won the game, and I felt that these guys wanted some more tennis. They were cheering me up like crazy.
“I knew I have to leave my heart out there for them also. For myself first of all, but for them also. I think they saw it and they appreciate it. I’m thankful to them for this.”
During the almost five hour match, Nadal hit 62 winners to 46 unforced errors to Medvedev’s 75 winners and 57 unforced errors. Nadal won a total of 177 points in the match to Medvedev’s 164.
A champion for the ages and a true legend of the sport.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 9, 2019
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) September 9, 2019
“The last three hours of the match have been very, very intense, no?” Nadal said. “Very tough mentally and physically, too.
“Yeah, at the end with the video, the crowd that have been as always amazing, all these facts that make the moment super special, no? Unforgettable moment.
“At the same time Daniil created this moment, too,” the champion explained. “The way that he played, is a champion way. Just well done for him. I really believe that he will have many more chances.”
“The emotions have been there watching all the success, all the moments that came to my mind in that moment. Yeah, I tried to hold the emotion, but some moments was impossible.”
“I would love to be the one who win more (major), but I am not thinking and I not going to practice every day or not playing tennis for it. I am playing tennis because I love to play tennis.
“I can’t just think about Grand Slams, no? Tennis is more than Grand Slams. I need to think about the rest of the things.
“I play to be happy.”