Rafael Nadal won his nineteenth Grand Slam title in exciting style by winning the US Open on Sunday, beating Russia’s Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4.
The Spaniard moved one short of Roger Federer’s unequalled men’s record 20 Grand Slam wins and turned into the second-most established US Open champion in the Open era after Ken Rosewall in 1970 at 35.
World number 2 took the top prize of $3.85 million at Arthur Ashe Stadium and added to his US Open trophy which he won in 2010, 2013 and 2017.
Nadal is the first man to win five major titles in the wake of turning 30.
It required an incomparable effort from the Spanish maestro, who almost turned into the first player to lose the final after leading by two sets since Frederick Schroeder 70 years ago.
Nadal, who rose to 22-12 out of five-set matches, has dropped just a single Grand Slam match out of about 200 when he has won the first two sets.
At four hours and fifty minutes, the match completed four minutes from matching the longest final in US Open history from Mats Wilander victory in 1988 and Andy Murray’s 2012 title.
This title is the second Grand Slam title in 2019 for Nadal after his victory at Roland Garros.
In addition to closing on Federer’s record, the Spaniard moved one short of the Open era record of five US Open titles won by Federer, Pete Sampras, and jimmy Connors.
Nadal’s win extended his success streak over Russians to 20 matches since losing to Nikolay Davydenko in the 2011 Doha semi-finals.
Fifth seed Medvedev, 23, fought all through his first Grand Slam final but couldn’t turn into the most youngest men’s Grand Slam champion since Juan Martin del Potro at the 2009 US Open, tumbling to 0-5 in five-set matches.Medvedev would have been the first Russian to win a Grand Slam title since Marat Safin victory in 2005 Australian Open and the first person from his country to win the US Open since Safin in 2000.
In the fifth set, Nadal saved a breakpoint in the second round of the fourth set when Medvedev got a strike, and a vast Nadal chant thundered from the crowd.
Medvedev denied Nadal on two break chances in the fifth game as the tension gathered. At that point, Nadal was broken in the tenth game to drop the set, Medvedev impacting a backhand return winner to finish a five-point to force a fifth set.
Nadal fought during the second game of the last set, denying three Medvedev break chances to hold.
The Spaniard fired a backhand volley winner to break Medvedev for a 3-2 lead, stretching to reach the Russian’s drop volley and flicking a winner that brought a roar from the stands.
Chants of “Ra-fa” reverberated through the arena as he held to 4-2 and Medvedev sent an overhead smash past the baseline to hand the Spaniard a break for a 5-2 edge.
Nadal served for the match however Medvedev enjoyed a reprieve to 5-3 when umpire Ali Nili issued Nadal a time violation for his first serve, and Nadal sent his subsequent serve long, the group booing Nili for his violation call.
Nadal had two break and match points in the ninth game, yet Medvedev terminated a striking winner and Nadal got a forehand return as the Russian held to 5-4 and the show strengthened.
Again serving for the match, Nadal saved a breakpoint then hit a forehand drop volley for his third match point possibility and took the triumph when Medvedev sent a forehand return long.
Nadal shouted and tumbled to the court on his back after another epic match.