Rafael Nadal was forced to dig deep inside himself because he dramatically claimed his nineteenth Major this morning when he defeated a stunning fightback of 23-year-old Russian Daniil Medvedev to win the US Open.
Roger Federer can be left with a repeated dose of regret over his missed opportunities in Wimbledon after his lead in the grand Grand Slam title race was reduced to just one.
Nadal refused Medvedev one of the greatest comebacks in tennis history when he finally forged a 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4 win that lasted breathlessly for four hours and 51 minutes.
Rafael Nadal has won the final major of the year after beating Russian Daniil Medvedev in a five-set epic in New York
The Spaniard proved ten years too much for his opponent and won the US Open for the fourth time in his career
Medvedev was subjected to Nadal in completely fluid form while depositing two sets under enormous pressure on Arthur Ashe
In the midst of a feverish atmosphere, they had brought each other to a halt towards the end, when Nadal kept a final breaking point against himself to close it off.
He became entangled in an epic battle of gladiatorial battles after relinquishing a break of serve advantage in the third set that had suggested a relatively dutiful victory.
Some of the long basic games were limited to the dour before the Russian changed his game to get more into the net and the great Spaniard gave up the fight of his life when he was in sight of another Grand Slam triumph.
Now that Novak Djokovic suffers from shoulder injuries, the chances of him shifting and there are more of the biggest trophies than his two rivals.
The Russian initially struggled with the power of Nadal, but soon came back to send the game to a fifth and decisive set
Nadal continued to respond to everything that Medvedev threw in his direction during the Sunday confrontation and came to the top
The Mallorcan will forever be associated with its dominance on clay courts, but the fact that this was his fifth Grand Slam title on hard courts (four here and one in Australia) is evidence of its versatility.
But what a shock he got from a player who had lost all four of his previous games that had lost five sets. His resilience made him the unlikely hero of this tournament, as he became one of the vilains in the first week when he gave the crowd a provocative finger.
Medvedev's fleeting relationship with Flushing Meadows was born these two weeks by the sporadic anger that greeted him as he entered the field. As seen in the women's final, New York does not do the same as Wimbledon.
However, the game could hardly have started worse for Nadal, as he received a warning about a time violation in the very first game. He was subsequently broken in his next service game because Medvedev gave an early reminder that he can play as a human back wall.
That pause was quickly reclaimed and soon the Spaniard stacked on the break points, mixed his spins and shot in the net if possible to make his opposing opponent uncomfortable.
It took until the twelfth game to throw that off, because at a second set point he gave the approaching Russian a high backhand volley, which he completely miscued.
The switch was spent sarcastically on giving his support team several thumbs up, Andy Murray style.
Spurred on by the noisy crowd, Nadal pulled on a wide repertoire of shots to impose himself on the US Open final
Former alpine ski star world cup Lindsey Vonn (left) and Canadian professional ice hockey player P.K. Subban was present
Given the enormous amount of tennis Medvedev has played in the past six weeks and his self-righteous pain, this seemed like a fatal blow.
For all his freedom of movement for a tall man, recording the heavily spun strokes would be enough for peak Djokovic, let alone someone who makes his first Grand Slam final performance against a man who turned it into 28.
Medvedev, someone who was used to beating opponents, had to use so much energy to stay in the points and his one-dimensional refusal to come to the net meant he could not shorten the points.
Sure enough, Nadal & # 39; s relentless pressure saw him break in the second 4-2 and when he closed the set, he looked a long way back to the hard-working Russian.
Redemption seemed even further away when he put a backhand in the net to give Nadal a 3-2 lead with a break in the third.
Yet he hit the ball away from the back and when Nadal put a simple overhead wide on deuce in the next game, that was the reason for the return. After reaching 6-5 he broke decisively, and with that he garnered the support of the public.
The Stakhanovite Medvedev now showed a much greater willingness to come in and it paid off, with Nadal having to save a breaking point at the start of the fourth when the loss of games threatened to become a bleeding.
The Russian likes to play fast and complained about the amount of time he had to wait between points when he started serving and playing volley as an old grass player. He wasn't as flexible as, say, Stefan Edberg on the net, but it was incredibly effective.
The level of Nadal decreased with the temperature on the field and the incredible depth of the foundations of Medvedev proved increasingly unanswerable. He flattened the game with a backhand pass in the middle of a roar of approval to take it straight home.
The physio came out to rub his thighs at the switch and he missed three break points in the second game of the decision maker who could have smoothed his way.
It cost him a lot when Nadal ran a backhand past him as he stayed behind the net to take a 3-2 lead with a break, which was aggravated when the Russian missed a breakpoint overhead at 4-2.
Nadal, now cooling himself off at the break with an air conditioning tube, dropped the service when he tried to close the game at 5-2, considering another time foul by referee Ali Nili.
At 5-3 against the Medvedev-serve, he created two match points, saved by a backhand winner and a serve and volley attack on the dreaded Nadal forehand, who was netted. He caused a shock to death and noticed that the crowd greeted him as Nadal raised his arms.
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