The pride of Spain, Rafael Nadal from Mallorca added another chapter to his outstanding resume by defeating Russia’s Daniil Medvedev 7/5; 6/4; 5/7; 6/4; 6/2 to win his fourth title in New York to move one place closer to Roger Federer’s 20 Grand Slams. The U.S Open victory was a repeat of the warm-up Canadian championships when Nadal prevailed in two sets. The intense battle of two tennis pugilists ended when Medvedev returned a Nadal serve out at match point after four hours and 49 minutes at the Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The first set contained the excitement and intensity of the entire duel. Nadal won the toss and elected to serve, winning the symbolic first point followed by an ace for 30-0. He committed a double fault but got the advantage on deuce for the game.
Medvedev leveled on his service and broke Nadal to lead 2-1. An attempted drop shot put Medvedev in danger to fall behind 0-30 and this led to break of serve. Nadal handed his opponent a looping ball to take the first point and followed with an ace en route to taking the fifth game. It was obvious that Medvedev committed errors on Nadal’s change of pace with slice and looping ball.
Medvedev saved four break points in the eighth when he lost the first point by missing a short ball and then faced danger at 15-40. He battled to deuce, lost the first advantage but survived to take the game on his first opportunity. Nadal held at love to lead 5-4.
In the 10th game, Medvedev raced to 30-0 and a double fault was followed by an outright winner for 40-15. Nadal forced a deuce but Medvedev took the seven-minute game on the second advantage.Nadal dropped only one point on serve to take the 11th game. Needing to hold to save the set, Medvedev again missed a sliced ball to fall behind 0-30 and eventually faced two set points at 15-40. He cancelled one but lost the second to give Nadal the frist set.
Nadal opened serving in the second set but was quickly down 0-30. A volley winner reduced the points score, but he faced break point at 30-40. He needed a second advantage to take the lead 1-0. Medvedev held to level but Nadal broke his opponent in the fifth game and consolidated to lead 4-2. Two games later, Nadal served for the set and won 6/3.
Nadal broke Medvedev’s serve in the fifth game of the third set when the Russian again hit a sliced ball into the net. However, Nadal lost his serve to concede the sixth game after which games flowed with server and Nadal needed to hold the 12th game that he lost to hand the set to Medvedev 7/5. Buoyed by the lifeline offered him, Medvedev broke Nadal once to take the fourth set 6/4. Nadal broke Medvedev in the fifth game of the fifth set when he wrong-footed Medvedev at game point. He proceeded to 4-2 on serve while a second break gave him a 5-2 lead.
However, he could not hold serve in the eighth game while his opponent reduced the gap by taking the ninth game. Nadal reached a set point in the tenth game and hammered a powerful serve that Medvedev returned out. The Matador had won. He fell on to the court facing skywards and then got up to hug his gallant opponent.