Nadal Outlasts Medvedev In 5-Set US Open Final, Wins 19th Grand Slam
by Staff | September 9th, 2019, 12:31 am

Rafael Nadal looked well on his way to a 19th Grand Slam title Sunday at the US Open. The 33-year-old was thought to be by many an overwhelming favorite in his fifth US Open final against the first-time Major finalist Daniil Medvedev who he whipped dropping just three games a month ago in Canada.

Early on, though, there was a sense this was a different Medvedev than the one from Montreal. The Russian earned a break point in the very first game of the match, then broke in Rafa’s next service game for a quick 2-1 lead. Nadal broke back and things settled down for what would be the first of five tough sets.

Nadal wasn’t in peak form off the ground or with his serve, and that allowed Medvedev to gain confidence in his shots, especially his inside-out down-the-line backhand which was very effective.

But Medvedev couldn’t force a first set breaker giving Rafa a 7-5 first set after an hour of play.

Nadal saved another early break point to start the second, the grabbed his own break to get to a third.

With Medvedev lookingn weary, Rafa broke again in the third for 3-2. But just minutes from the finish line, he got broken right back and Medvedev caught fire.

The big Russian continued to blanket the net, serve-and-volley and give Rafa problems with his speed and backhand.

Serving to force a tiebreaker, this time Rafa blinked and was stunningly broken at 15. He should have been in the locker room, instead we were going to a fourth.

Both players saved more break chances but serving to stay in the set at 4-5 with a 40-15 lead, Nadal lost four straight points in stunning fashion culminating with a Medvedev pass off a serve. We’d go to a fifth.

Nadal was now looking worse for the wear. The 18-time Slam winner wasn’t finding the range from the backcourt, so he resorted to coming in and coming in a lot. Even serve-and-volleying. Medvedev continued to push Nadal around the court, then bring him in with the dropshot then lob. A tactic that was working.

Down 1-0, Nadal saved three early break points to start the fifth, then broke Medvedev consecutively to take what appeared to be a finishing 5-2 lead. But it wasn’t over.

Medvedev found one last run. Medvedev saved two match points on his serve at 5-3 with a backhand winner and a gutsy serve-and-volley on second serve.

Serving for it a second time as the match closed in on five hours, Nadal went down 15-30, then down break point but regrouped and took it on his third championship point when a Medvedev forehand service return sailed long. In 4 hours, 49 minutes, Rafa wins his 4th US Open title 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4.

“The last three hours of the match have been very, very intense, no? Very tough mentally and physically, too,” Nadal said. “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 way that he fighted, the way that he played, is a champion way. Just well done for him. I really believe that he will have many more chances.

“Just very happy. This trophy means everything to me today. Personal satisfaction the way that I resisted all these tough moments is very high. Just I normally try to hold the emotions, but at the end for all these facts have been impossible today.”

The two combined for 39 serve-and-volley points (20 for Nadal, 29 for Medvedev) and 140 total points played at the net. They also totaled 69 points with rallies 9 or more strokes, 36 of those won by Nadal.

Medvedev, who had been maligned by the New York fans a week ago, was now cheered for his fight.

“I definitely will remember tonight,” Medvedev said. “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.”

Nadal improves to 19-8 in Grand Slam finals as he now stands just one title away from matching Roger Federer’s all-time total of 20.

“I would love to be the one who win more, 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,” Nadal said. “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. Of course, the victory of today makes me super happy. But few weeks ago I won in Montreal and have been important moment for me, too. Of course, is not a comparation [sic] because is completely different story.”

Nadal also takes home his fifth Slam as a 30-year-old which is most in the Open Era. And he heads into the fall with a big lead in the Race.

“For me, my main goal is play as long as possible and compete, being competitive. Sometimes if you need to follow the No. 1, you going to lose years of your career,” Nadal said.

“But I am there. If I am able to play well until the end of the season, I going to have my chances. That going to be amazing. But I always say the same: is not my main goal today.”

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35 Comments for Nadal Outlasts Medvedev In 5-Set US Open Final, Wins 19th Grand Slam

Tanner Boyle Bermuda Says:

Congratulations Rafael Nadal. Thanks for this post.

skeezer Says:

Congrats to Rafael Nadal, USO Champ!

RZ Says:

Congrats to Rafa and his fans here. What a win! And a great showing from Medvedev, who now deserves a long vacation after the summer he has had.
Also big congrats to Manuel for winning the bracket! He was in winning position from the semis onward (I think he was going to win in 7 out of the 8 semifinal/final scenarios – very impressive!). Daniel did great too, staying in the top spot for much of the tournament and ended up in 2nd place. Thanks to all who played.
(Sorry for the late post – I kept getting an error screen saying that the resource limit has been reached)

Daniel Says:

Just realize Nadal is the first of the Big 3 to win 5 Slams after 30. Who would have thought a few years back, specially in his young days when many said he wouldn’t last this long, that he would achieve this first?!
Both Fed and Djoko have 4, and Djoko will soon join Nadal. As for Federer hard to say.

Van Persie Says:

Congrats to Rafa!

saw only the 1st set and was to tired afterwards. Roger now in danger, Rafa might catch his GS nimber, hihi.
Hope Medv will get another shot, he would deserve it 🙂
Was too tired to see the entire match, I celebrated a new job offer too much during the weekend and had to be fresh today, in order to resign from actual job. hehe.

RZ, we were battling for the last spot in the bracket, who won? 🙂

RZ Says:

@VP – somehow you beat me to it, which is odd since you had Rafa in the final and I had him losing in the QF. It was just one point difference though. I enjoyed your company down there. 😁 Congrats on the new job!

Van Persie Says:

Haha RZ,

It was a pleasure.
Thanks for the congrats 🙂
Was a very good day, resigning, when things are getting annoying, can offer such satisfaction, so I almost forgot about tennis. Felt like winning UO 2019 myself lol

John Says:

After Festina affair and then Lance cycling Fed. had a choice to make 1) Realize many dope and catch as many as possible
2) let them be, we ‘ll get a few from time to time.
They made choice n 1. Now they get a big number of cheaters (compared to other sports). The people reward left cycling in a high time low fan base. Conclusion people don’t want to know. They want to leave the dream.
I don’t know how is worse as Goat: A should be retired parent with perfect technique, A marathon runner with asthma, or a guy with more injures than Mr glass with a healing mentality.
I think Djokovic is what the fanatics and media sycophants deserve as their ‘greatest of all time, in that science fair they call sport

John Says:

f you know rules don’t apply to everyone, you will notice that at 2:54 ofic. highlights the serve clock goes to 0.
In the words of tyler hamilton: If you are not winning, you ‘re not cheating hard enough.

Manuel Says:

It was funny to take part on the bracket (and to win!). I will try to show it wasn´t just luck on future brackets. I´m still very impresssed with Daniils performance, he has this attitude like he has to win no matter what…He didn´t even have a proper forehand not long ago!!!

Manuel Says:

By the way Mallorca won both the tournament and the bracket hehe

Wog Boy Says:

From Nole with love;)

“Congrats to Rafa for creating more history in our sport and showcasing amazing fighting spirit. And congrats to Daniil for an incredible summer on hardcourt in USA. You should be proud of yourself. Great things to come for you. Well done boys & thank you for fantastic match,” Djokovic tweeted.

Wog Boy Says:

Congratulations VP for scoring new job 👍👏

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Just an amazing match. Dramatic and super-exciting shotmaking. Rafa seemed to have his B game in the first two sets, but he was able to figure out how to get through. From the third set, the level just went sky high. Props to Medvedev for pushing Rafa and to Rafa for an incredible display of shotmaking and athleticism.

Did Rafa just break his many-years-long hardcourt title drought at Montreal? Because if he did, what a way to bust out: two titles in a row, at a Masters and a Slam.

With 4 US Opens Rafa joins the short list of greatest USO champs of all time. And with 8 non clay Slams, he is tied with MacEnroe and Wilander TOTAL slam count, and ahead of Edberg and Becker.

Van Persie Says:

thanxs WB :)

Alison Hodge Says:

Tennis Vagabond lol wish you were right, but its 7 none clay GS :-)

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Alison, thanks. My bad. Somehow had it in my head that he had three wimbledon!

Anyways, 4 US Opens I think puts him in the status of US Open all time greatest, so now he is undisputedly greatest at one slam, and among the best ever at another. I mean, he’s only 1 off the top guys (for open era), Fed, Sampras and Connors, and tied with Mac. He is in the elite company in USO history: one of the 5 greatest open era champs.

But, yeah, he owes me another non-clay slam in 2020, I guess.

Alison Hodge Says:

Tennis Vagabond lol no problem, liked your post anyway :-)

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Giles, that’s a great link.
I have to admit, I was one of those who thought he would burn out early. Things have gone pretty well for him.

James the 1st Says:

Nice to see some old posters still around, Alison, Wog Boy, Skeezer, Giles…HumbleRafa still around or banned? :D

I’m still high from Rafa’s #19. I had a feeling he would be rewarded for his consistency in Grand Slams. He’s been more consistent than either Novak or Federer in Grand Slams since 2017. Suddenly, the Grand Slam record is within a touching distance for Rafa.

I was also very impressed with Medvedev. He’s got the heart of a lion. I see him winning a couple of Slams or more in coming years.

chrisford1 Says:

Interesting article on Medvedev.
While I obviously disagree with the writer saying Djokovic has the heart of a heel but has groomed himself to act like Federer does – bland, saying the right corrected and scripted words……

On Mededev he says you have a true bad boy that, unlike Kyrgios or Tomic, is a likely generational talent like the present Big 3 – who will win a lot while being a perfect Russian villain for media to gravitate to – and spice up tennis again.

Sivaji Says:

Congratulation Rafa!.. So Happy for for lifting GS19. Vamos

skeezer Says:

Hope Rafa enjoys post USO. Lots to look forward too coming up. Congrats for all the hard work put in!

chrisford1 Says:

NY Times is reporting that Djokovic is now in Switzerland being evaluated for shoulder surgery, described as minor surgery.
That would likely finish him for the rest of the season.
If true, while he is down, he may wish to evaluate his commitment to his marriage and to Vegan lifestyle that not only has made him weaker in power behind his shots, 5 kilos thinner than his best weight, but as trainers have said – vegans are more susceptible to injury and slower to recover from them.
I’m thinking an old comedy photo sent Djokovic might help. Cocker spaniel with a gun to it’s ear, looking scared. “If you don’t buy this magazine *strike* (eat one kilo of fish a week and add 4 kilos of weight) we will be forced to shoot this dog!
The marriage thing, the rumors, erupted again when Mrs D travelled to their London home in Wimbledon village with kids, but failed to go over and attend a single match or join him at the Champion’s Ball. Also a no show at the USO and the AO earlier this year.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Yes, having a multi-year lock on #1 and having won half the grand slams of the last 8, Novak should definitely change everything… I mean, if he’s serious about having a decent tennis career.

skeezer Says:

^lol :)

j-kath Says:

Andy Murray takes wildcard for Shanghai Masters as singles comeback continues

j-kath Says:

Re. the above comment – its actually an article copied (badly) from a BBC article.

Andy Mira Says:

JK…Yeah…i read about it today…Hope a very nice draw for our wee Andy!..

C’mon Andy!

Alison Hodge Says:

Best of luck Andy :-)

Patson Says:

Good luck with the comeback, Sir Andrew Barron Murray.

Czarlazar Says:

cford1: You’re absolutely right, Chris. Nole is back in his melancholy mode, with his ungrateful wife mistreating him and he’s back to talking about how important it is to be a husband and father, etc., etc. Laughable stuff for an all time historic talent and one of the most successful sportsmen in history. He’ll obviously have plenty of time tracking his kids’ milestones when he hangs up the racquet in a couple/three years. Meanwhile, his vegan lifestyle is making him frail again and that’s apparently the main reason Gebhard Phil Gritsch abandoned him again a month ago. Bringing regular fish into his diet was a condition of Gritsch and Vajda returning in May 2018 and I wouldn’t be surprised if Vajda leaves again also. With Nole, nothing surprises me as long as Jelena and Pepe Imaz (who’s apparently still in the picture) lurk in the background. Too bad our man doesn’t have Rafa or Roger’s mentality to go with his unrivalled talent: he’d have at least 25 Slams by now!

Wog Boy Says:

Nole went to la la land after AO this year, he is down to 77kg, this is Nole that won nothing after FO 2016 to Wimbledon 2018, this is not Nole that won 4 out of 5 GS from Wimbledon to Wimbledon, but only after he changed diet (fish and animal proteins) and went back to 80-81kg, that was condition for Vajda and Gritsch to come back plus Pepe not to get nowhere near the team.

Well, his life his wife….but she is evil, just so her video clip from few days ago in Serbia, she looks like someone zipped human skin over the skeleton and Nole stands next to her like a puppy waiting for command what to do and say next, sad.

Wog Boy Says:

^^ “just saw” should say

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