Sunday, 22 September, 2019

Queen Letizia and King Felipe congratulate Rafael Nadal on US Open win

Medvedev earns U.S. Open cheers during, after loss to Nadal World congratulates Nadal on his 19th Major title
Shannon Reynolds | 11 September, 2019, 06:23

That match at Arthur Ashe Stadium drew a 2.4 overnight rating.

"I am playing tennis because I love to play tennis", Nadal told reporters.

"This victory means a lot especially because of the way the match became so hard, so tough". "Nineteen Grand Slam titles is something unbelievable".

He was physically and emotionally shattered, having just needed to produce one of his greatest fights to see off Daniil Medvedev to win an epic US Open final.

In reply, Nadal praised the 23-year-old for his fighting spirit. "I was fighting and I didn't give up, but unfortunately, it didn't go my way". I don't know what else to say. "I think they saw it and they appreciate it". "It is great to be in that fight".

The race to see who will end his career with the record for most majors is certainly a motivator. Nadal rescued three Medvedev break chances to hold in the second game of the fifth set, fired a backhand volley victor to break Medvedev in the fifth game and seized a 5-2 edge when Medvedev hit an overhead smash long.

Nadal defeated Medvedev, 7-5, 6-4, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4 in a win that left the tennis legend in tears afterwards.

The drama was not over yet.

Overall, Medvedev gave tennis fans humor, humility and maturity in his speech, transforming from the guy who appeared to put up the middle finger during a match and relished in being a villain to someone who was able to win over the US Open crowd.

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

With Djokovic having an impressive record at Australia, as well as beginning to feel equally welcome in Wimbledon's Centre Court, the pressure now is more on Federer to try and stay ahead of them.

Already the King of Clay, Nadal has been a master of the Flushing Meadows hardcourts for the last two weeks, dropping just one set on way to the final.

But it was not an instant connection between Nadal, his notoriously suspect knees, and the year's final Grand Slam tournament.

Nadal, who has now shared the last 12 Grand Slam titles with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, is confident Medvedev will have his moment. Tennis is more than Grand Slams.

What of the slight Russian who at times has let his fiery temperament get the better of him in tournaments and especially here at the US Open.

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.

"I can't be afraid of messing up anymore", the new world number four said when asked by the press how he can take the next step in his career. "I'm playing tennis because I love to play tennis", he stressed.

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