Rafael Nadal beat Daniil Medvedev in a thrilling US Open final to win the Grand Slam of the year in New York on Sunday, September 8th. The Spaniard was made to work for the victory against a determined Medvedev but finally secured the title after five sets of action with a score of 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4.
Nadal looked set for victory after winning the first two sets comfortably, but the Russian fought back in the third and fourth and managed to level the match. The 33-year-old regained his composure in the deciding fifth set as he managed to seal the championship after four hours and 51 minutes of exhilarating action.
The victory is Nadal’s fourth US Open title, and his 19th Grand Slam win as he moves one shy of Rodger Federer’s record of 20. He also becomes the second oldest US Open champion ever after Ken Rosewell won the title in 1970 at the age of 35.
AFP reported that after the game Nadal praised his opponent’s fightback. "I more or less had the match under control," Nadal said. "The way he was able to fight to change the rhythm of the match was incredible."
The Spanish star was overcome with emotion after his victory and he claimed the manner of the win made it more special. "That's so important," Nadal said of his fourth US Open crown. "This victory means a lot.
"And the way it happened. It was hard to control the nerves. The nerves were so high after having the match almost under control."
Medvedev also praised Nadal after the match. "It's tough to find words. He's one of the greatest champions in the history of our sport. He's just a machine, a beast on the court," the 23-year said.