Rafael Nadal now finds US Open a second home after clay

Rafael Nadal now finds US Open a second home after clay

The tennis great bristled at the suggestion that he might have played a role in some favourable scheduling.

"This victory means a lot especially because of the way the match became so hard, so tough".

"Before the tournament, my best result was fourth round of a Grand Slam".

Rafael was made to work for his fourth US Open Title, racing into a two-set lead before being pegged back by Daniil Medvedev, before eventually winning 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4 to triumph at Flushing Medows on Sunday evening. "In that way, I am very, very calm, very pleased with myself". But for me personally, it's not really a fight. I need to think about the rest of the things. "I can't just think about Grand Slams, no?"

"Of course, it's great to be in that fight". The last time someone won the Open after being down 2-0 was Pancho Gonzales in 1949. He broke when Nadal served for the match at 5-2, and had another chance to break in the final game before Nadal finally closed it out.

The drama was not over yet.

Medvedev hit back one more time with a break of his own and a hold of serve to cut the advantage to 5-4 and the prospect of the Russian winning a major title with his first career five-set victory was briefly back on. Because of you guys, I was fighting like hell. I've been to Martinsville and Super Bowls; the America's Cup (all 3) in San Diego and College GameDay in the sport's meccas such as Eugene, Auburn, Lubbock, Stillwater and more; the NBA Finals and Indy 500; Wimbledon (16 times and counting) and the "other Bristol", the one with a race track in Tennessee.

Some took it as a sign that change was afoot when Nadal was the only member of the Big Three to get to the semi-finals at the US Open.

Rafael Nadal tucked phantom strands of hair behind both his ears and then proceeded to cannon down the final serve of the final Grand Slam of this decade - a span of 10 years from 2010 to 2019 in which he may well have swayed the GOAT debate in his direction.

Medvedev arrived at his first Grand Slam final as the hottest player in men's tennis, riding the momentum from reaching four consecutive finals, but it was not quite enough to carry him to a maiden major title. Sunday's match drew best ratings for a U.S. Open men's final since Djokovic beat Roger Federer in 2015.

By the end of the evening, however, he had earned the respect and admiration of the crowd for a gutsy performance that established him as a genuine threat to the stranglehold Nadal, Federer and Djokovic have on the Grand Slams. "We're just doing our best job to try to make it happen sometimes".

The 23-year-old said: "It's really tough because these guys, they are playing fantastic tennis".

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