New York : Facing a tough opponent like Daniil Medvedev, Rafael Nadal survived a slippery floor to claim an epic 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 win and a fourth U.S Open title on September 8, moving within one Grand Slam crown of matching Roger Federer’s all-time record of 20.
A routine end to the Flushing Meadows fortnight looked on the cards when Nadal went two sets and a break up but the final turned into a near five-hour thriller as Medvedev staged a comeback that left the Spaniard shaken and Arthur Ashe Stadium buzzing.
“An amazing final seemed that I had the match more or less, it has been one of the most emotional nights in my tennis career,” Nadal said after watching a montage of his 19 major title triumphs on the stadium’s big screen.A commentator said, “The way that he was able to fight to change the rhythm of the match was just incredible. This victory means a lot especially because of the way the match became so difficult, so tough.”
The 33 year old Russian lefthander has become the second oldest U.S. open champion in the professional era behind Australian Ken Rosewall, who was 35 when he lifted the title in 1970. Not once since 1949 had a player come back from two sets down to win the U.S. Open final. But the tall Russian, cheered loudly by a crowd that booed him mercilessly earlier in the week, came close.