Published: Wed, September 11, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Rafael Nadal is at his pinnacle and soon may be the greatest

Rafael Nadal is at his pinnacle and soon may be the greatest

The Russian fifth seed broke Nadal with a sublime backhand return victor in the 10th game of the fourth set to take it 6-4 and keep alive his bid for a first Grand Slam title. After Nadal took advantage of his first break chance in the third set, for a 3-1 lead, Medvedev fought his way back and held for a 5-4 lead.

BBC reports Nadal, seeded second, was cruising at two sets and a break up, only for Medvedev to force a decider.

The 33-year-old, who received multiple time violations during the final, had special thanks for the crowd in NY.

Rafael Nadal of Spain is congratulated by Daniil Medvedev of Russian Federation after winning his Men's Singles final match.

Ahead of the match, Nadal said he was "super happy to be back in the final of the US Open", USA Today reported.

Medvedev entered his first career Grand Slam final on a 12-match win streak.

Nadal has made his way into another U.S. Open final Sunday after beating Italian Matteo Berrettini 7-6 (8-6), 6-4, 6-1 in the semifinals.

Add the Spaniard's haul in NY to his 12 titles at the French Open, two at Wimbledon and one at the Australian Open, and the 20-19 gap between Federer and Nadal is the closest it's been in 15 years.

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He said that while he was honoured to be part of the battle to be crowned the greatest of all time, and thrilled if it attracted more fans to the game, he would still sleep well if he comes up short. "And, I don't know, I just, I'm emotional". Nobody has had more success in Australia than seven-time champ Djokovic, who is still in the mix with 16 Slams.

But Nadal roared into the 2017 Australian Open final, losing to Federer, then captured a record 10th French Open crown in June that year, setting the stage for another title run at the US Open.

The Spaniard is now just one shy of Federer's record 20 majors after a 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4 victory at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Because of you guys, I was fighting like hell.

The momentum looked like it was swinging in Medvedev's favor, and when he broke a tiring Nadal in the 11th game of the set, it gave him the opportunity to serve out the set and get a foothold in the match.

Not since 1949 has anyone won a U.S. Open final after trailing by two sets to none. The crowd chanted his name but was conflicted as it also greeted Nadal's artistry in a rapturous celebration of impressive tennis. "I always say the same: I would love to be the one who wins more, but I am not thinking [about it]".

Nadal has only lost once at the Open when he took the first two sets. He won the set 7-5, held serve to win the opening game of the fourth set, and had a break point in the second game, but Nadal hit a backhand passing shot for a victor and closed the game with an ace. "I will face the player who is winning more matches of the year and the player who is playing on the highest level since a while".

Nadal's allegiance to the Spanish giants comes despite his uncle Miguel Nadal playing 208 league games for Barcelona between 1991 and 1997.

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