Rafael Nadal vs Daniil Medvedev, US Open 2019 Men’s Singles Final Live Score and Updates: Rafael Nadal captured his 19th career Grand Slam title in thrilling fashion on Sunday by winning the US Open final, outlasting Russia’s Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4 to seize his fourth crown in New York. The 33-year-old Spanish left-hander moved one shy of Roger Federer’s all-time men’s record 20 Grand Slam triumphs and became the second-oldest New York champion in the Open era after Ken Rosewall in 1970 at age 35.
World number two Nadal took the top prize of $3.85 million at Arthur Ashe Stadium and added to his US Open trophy haul from 2010, 2013 and 2017. Nadal, who was in his fifth US Open championship match and 27th Grand Slam final, is the first man to claim five major titles after turning 30. But it took a supreme effort from the Spanish maestro, who nearly became the first player to drop the final after leading by two sets since Frederick Schroeder in 1949.
The 19th Grand Slam title that seemed so inevitable for Rafael Nadal during the first two-plus sets of the U.S. Open final suddenly seemed in doubt as Daniil Medvedev forced it to a fifth. What had all the makings of a crowning morphed into a real contest thanks to Medvedev, a man a decade younger and appearing in his first major final. Medvedev shifted styles, upped his level and received an unexpected boost from Arthur Ashe Stadium spectators. Truly tested for the only time in the tournament, the No. 2-seeded Nadal managed to stop Medvedev’s surge and hold off his historic comeback bid, pulling out a 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4 victory in 4 hours, 50 minutes of highlight-worthy action and feature-film-worthy drama on Sunday, collecting his fourth championship at Flushing Meadows. MATCH REPORT
Facts and figures from the US Open final
4 hours, 50 minutes: Duration of the final, falling four minutes short of the longest US Open championship match on record. Andy Murray's five-set win over Novak Djokovic in 2012 took four hours and 54 minutes. Mats Wilander also defeated Ivan Lendl in a match of identical length in the 1988 final
33: Nadal's age. He became the second oldest US Open champion in the modern era since 35-year-old Ken Rosewall in 1970
4: number of US Open titles now won by Nadal
19: number of Grand Slams now won by Nadal
177/164: number of points won by Nadal/Medvedev in the final
6/21: break points converted by Nadal
5/15: break points converted by Medvedev
4/14: aces hit by Nadal/Medvedev
62/75: winners hit by Nadal/Medvedev
46/57: unforced errors by Nadal/Medvedev
0/4: success rate of male players born in the 1990s in Grand Slam finals. Milos Raonic finished runner-up at Wimbledon in 2016 while Dominic Thiem lost the last two French Open finals to Nadal.
84: number of career titles for Nadal, of which 21 have come on hard courts
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Nadal's epic victory over Daniil Medvedev secured the Spaniard his fourth US Open crown, leaving him one shy of the Open era record of five titles belonging to long-time rival Federer, Pete Sampras and Jimmy Connors.
Rafael Nadal: "This has been an amazing final.
"First word that I have is to Daniil. His summer is one of the best summers I've ever seen since I've been playing.
"Tonight, everybody saw why he is the number four player in the world at just 23 years old. Many congratulations for everything. The way that he was able to fight, to change the rhythm of the match was just incredible. All the very best for the future, I am sure you will have many more chances to win here.
"It has been one of the most emotional nights of my tennis career. Thank you very, very much, everybody in this stadium. It's been amazing energy during both weeks. I think there isn't another stadium in the world that is more energetic than this one so many thanks for everything."
Daniil Medvedev: "To be honest in my mind, I was already thinking what do I say in the speech, it's going to be in 20 minutes.
"I was like I have to fight for every ball, and it went further but it didn't go my way. I know earlier in the tournament I said a bad thing, and now it's a good thing.
"It's because of your energy that I'm here in the final. I mean, tonight is going to always be in my mind because I played in the biggest court in the tennis world.
"You guys were pushing me to prolong this match because you want to see more tennis. Because of you guys, I was fighting like hell.
"It's electric. You were booing me for a reason. I can also change because I am a human being and I can make mistakes. Thank you very much from the bottom of my heart."
Rafael Nadal's Grand Slam titles -19
Australian Open (2009), French Open (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019), Wimbledon (2008, 2010), US Open (2010, 2013, 2017, 2019)
Nadal serves for the title but Medvedev gets the lead. Nadal claws back after another gruelling rally. Medvedev gets his nose back ahead... he is not going to give in so easily. Nadal draws level yet again with a perfect serve and volley.
Medvedev goes to 40 first with a wild hit from Nadal. Nadal draws level with a powerful forearm winner.
AND HE DOES IT! Rafael Nadal wins the men's singles champion!
Medvedev gets the lead but Nadal hits back. Both players must be gassed at this point. Nadal though gets a point and is head at 30-15. Medvedev though makes it level with a mistake from Nadal. Medvedev fails to reach to the ball in time.
Nadal goes to 40 first. Medvedev in not giving up the chase. Nadal has the advantage with a brilliant shot. But Medvedev claws back again as Nadal hits the net. It is time for Medvedev to get his nose ahead in this game. Nadal wants this end and brings it back to Deuce again with topspin. Medvedev hits the most perfect ace and then stays alive for another fight.
Nadal will be serving for the match and he gets the early lead but Medvedev gets back. Brilliant tennis from both players as the rallies get harder and harder. Nadal holds on as Medvedev hits wide.
Medvedev rallies back to level it at 30-30. Medvedev gets his nose ahead as both players are looking exhausted.
As Nadal tried to conserve energy, Medvedev takes the game.
Medvedev is still fighting on. Nadal skies the return and the crowd erupts in New York.
Medvedev though returns the favour with skier of his own that too lands out of bounds and maybe Nadal has a sniff of another break.
Nadal draws level as Medvedev commits another error on the return.
What a time to play the drop shot from Nadal and he breaks Medvedev again.
Has Medvedev broken the Nadal code? As the game as gone on... Medvedev has become better adept at gauging Nadal's moves and has been able to break the channels.
Nadal will be thinking if he has made the mistake of playing into Medvedev's plan all along... should he have had finished off the game when he had the chance?
What an important break for Nadal! There is time yet to make amends...
We've had over 4 hours of tennis and we are no closer to getting our winner than when we started. Some final this.
Nadal and Medvedev continue to trade blows as when one takes a point... the other returns the favour.
Nadal though manages to hold serve after a few long rallies and we go one.
Medvedev and Nadal are giving us a match for the ages! The pair are trading blows and the crowd are cheering every point and that too for every point.
Medvedev is like a cannon right now. That backhand is firing. He makes Nadal run from one corner to the other to get two break points. But Nadal is going for the serve and volley again. He saves both the break points. He then misses another volley to give away the advantage again but then fires a massive, deep forehand to take it back to deuce. Then it's Medvedev's turn to miss the volley and then Nadal serves it well to take the big game.
In the second game of the fifth set, there were a couple of instances of Nadal doing a time violation but the chair umpire decided against punishing him for that.
Medvedev has turned this around with his bravery. And he is still going for his shots. Nadal is taking a lot of time to receive while Medvedev is directly asking him to be ready when he is ready to serve. Nadal is distracted, Medvedev is going for his shots and Nadal is sending is all wide here.
Medvedev gets a 1-0 lead in the fifth set
Either is matching the other blow for blow!
Nadal races to a 30-0 lead with some smart tennis. Medvedev has the answer too as he gently approaches the net gradually and deftly drops the ball for the point.
Nadal hits his 5th ace to get it to 40-15. Medvedev again has the answer and makes it Deuce.
He has done it! Medvedev breaks Nadal to win the fourth set to force it to the fifth! WHAT A MATCH!
Nadal gets the lead with a superb shot but Medvedev gets back with an ace of his own.
Medvedev though makes another unforced error by hitting it straight into the net.
Medvedev gets another ace to level things and then Nadal hits the dink over the baseline.
Medvedev hits a brilliant winner to take the game.
Medvedev takes the lead with deep ball as Nadal erred in his judgment.
Medvedev tries the same again and this time hit a little bit too deep.
Nadal gets the point after Medvedev's down the line winner is just wide.
Brilliant slice drops from Nadal and he leads 40-15!
Nadal takes the game as Medvedev gets his cross-court backhand wrong!
Medvedev is turning on the screws with aces of his own.
Nadal though creeps back to level with unforced errors from Medvedev.
Nadal takes the lead at 40-30 with the same mistake from Medvedev.
Nadal falters on the return and Medvedev makes it Deuce.
Medvedev races to the nets and smashes it past Nadal for the advantage.
Another mistake means it is Deuce again. Nadal has the advantage as Medvedev hits it long.
Medvedev this time force an error off Nadal and it deuce again.
Nadal tries to aggressive but sprays his backhand cross-court.
Medvedev holds serve.
Medvedev makes a mistake this time and Nadal with the momentum and the lead.
Medvedev though gets parity again.
Nadal though just dinks it over Medvedev for the point. Leads 30-15.
Medvedev gets back at 30-30 as Nadal hits it into the net.
Medvedev holds serve with some beautiful tennis.
Nadal must be wondering what has hit him.
With the crowd behind him, Medvedev looks reinvigorated and determined.
Nadal gets a point and lets out a shriek! Nadal then goes onto level it 30-30!
The crowd is cheering for both players now. Some final they are witnessing!
Medvedev gets back in the lead as Nadal hits the return into the net.
Nadal has the counter-attack ready and brings it to Deuce.
Nadal takes the advantage with a brilliant down the line backhand. A fist pump follows...
He holds serve with a 125 m/h ace!
Medvedev is giving one big push. Nadal makes an error on the return and Medvedev leads.
Same again! Nadal is making Medvedev run around the court but eventually, himself makes the error and Medvedev gets the point. 30-0 up.
Meanwhile, the cheers grow louder for Medvedev!
That is just brilliant from Medvedev! A winner for the cameras and Nadal just looks on in horror!
Medvedev breaks Nadal to take the set 7-5.
Medvedev won 14 of the last 15 points to take the set!
This match is far from over now...
Nadal is now within one major trophy of Roger Federer’s record for Grand Slam titles won by a man. But this one did not come easily. Not at all.
Sure seemed it might, with Nadal ahead by two sets and a break in the third at 3-2. But the No. 5-seeded Medvedev, a 23-year-old from Russia, did not go gently into the night. He broke right back to 3-all, then again to claim that set and yet again to end the fourth.
Not since 1949 had a man won the U.S. Open final after trailing by two sets to one. Never before had Medvedev won a five-set match. Only once before had Nadal lost a Grand Slam match after taking the opening two sets.
And yet the drama here was real.
Even at the very end — or when everyone, save Medvedev, perhaps, figured it was the very end — Nadal had trouble closing things out. After breaking to lead 3-2 in the fifth, in a game Medvedev led 40-love, Nadal broke again and served for the championship at 5-2.
The way this back-and-forth tale was spun, though, it probably was inevitable that Medvedev would break there. And so he did, because Nadal double-faulted on break point after he was docked a serve for his third time violation of the evening.
Nadal and Medvedev…
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 8, 2019
In the next game, Nadal held a pair of match points, but Medvedev, of course, avoided defeat yet another time, erasing one of those with a backhand winner, the other with a service winner.
With fans screaming, “Close it out!” at the ensuing changeover, Nadal once more stepped to the baseline to try to serve it out, this time at 5-4. Naturally, he was forced to deal with another heart-in-throat break point, but came up with a stinging forehand that drew a long forehand from Medvedev.
Two points later, it was over, and Nadal was splayed on his back on the court, the victor at Flushing Meadows for the fourth time.
Add the Spaniard’s haul in New York 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. Federer led 1-0 after his breakthrough triumph at the All England Club in 2004, and he had four by the time Nadal got his first at Roland Garros in 2005.
Federer, who lost in the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open, is 38, while Nadal is 33 — making him the oldest male champion at Flushing Meadows since 1970. He’s also the first man to win five majors after turning 30.
Nadal says he wants to finish his career at No. 1 in the Grand Slam standings — ahead of Federer and Novak Djokovic, looming in third place currently with 16 — but also insists he won’t base his happiness on how it all shakes out in the end.
This one ended the way he wanted it to. The journey just took more detours than anyone could have anticipated.
Perhaps sensing the end was near, Medvedev turned into a trickier foe. He alternated serve-and-volley surprises with a penchant for out-hitting Nadal at the baseline. For a stretch, it felt as if Medvedev simply could not miss.
It was the kind of ball-striking and shape-shifting Medvedev showed while going 20-2 during the North American hard-court circuit, reaching four finals in a row.
The Flushing Meadows fans that jeered Medvedev in Week 1 because of his on-court behavior — he trolled his detractors by sarcastically thanking them and telling him their vitriol was why he won — were pulling for him.
Or, at least, pulling for more bang for the bucks they spent on tickets.
They certainly got that.