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Rafael Nadal beats Daniil Medvedev to win US Open men's final – live!

The Guardian
Monday 9 September 2019 03:11

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Email Bryan with your thoughts or tweet @BryanAGraham 2.09am BST What a match. Spain’s Rafael Nadal has won his fourth US Open title and 19th major championship with a 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4 win over Russia’s Daniil Medvedev after four hours and 50 minutes. 2.08am BST Fifth set: Medvedev 5-7, 3-6, 7-5, 6-4, 4-6 Nadal
Nadal serving with new balls for the title and he quickly falls behind love-15 on a netted backhand, but gets it to 15-all with an extraordinary sliced lob backhand into the corner. Now a scratchy forehand by Nadal puts him 15-30 down, but he gets it to 30-all with a big serve to the body that Medvedev can’t wrestle back. And now Nadal frames a forehand six shots into a baseline rally and it’s out, giving Medvedev a break point and a chance to level this fifth set. Nadal saves it with a thunderous forehand into the corner that Medvedev can’t return for deuce. More chant sof “Ra-fa! Ra-fa! Ra-fa!” cascade down from the upper deck. Now Nadal follows with a drop shot winner and he’s got a third championship point. And this time he converts when Medvedev sends a return long! 2.00am BST Fifth set: Medvedev 5-7, 3-6, 7-5, 6-4, 4-5 Nadal* (*denotes next server)Medvedev wins the first point with an overhead winner, but Nadal rattles off two quick points and he’s two points for the championship. A backhand misfire by Nadal gets it to 30-all, but a deft touch volley by the Spaniard at the net gives im a championship point! Could this be it? Not yet! Medvedev crushes a backhand winner early in the point to save it for deuce. Nadal then hits forehand passing winner to set up a second championship point, but Medvedev saves that one too with a massive second serve. Now Medvedev crushes a 127mph ace down the middle – as some mouth-breather in the mezzanine screams “Go Rafa!” at the height of his toss – but he follows it with another unforced error for another deuce. Now Medvedev pounds another 127mph ace and this time he holds when Nadal can’t return a running backhand into the court. The Spaniard will have a second chance to serve for the championship after the change of ends.
1.53am BST Medvedev breaks in eighth game of fifth set!Fifth set: *Medvedev 5-7, 3-6, 7-5, 6-4, 3-5 Nadal (*denotes next server) 1.45am BST Nadal breaks in seventh game of fifth set!Fifth set: Medvedev 5-7, 3-6, 7-5, 6-4, 2-5 Nadal* (*denotes next server) 1.41am BST Fifth set: *Medvedev 5-7, 3-6, 7-5, 6-4, 2-4 Nadal (*denotes next server)Nadal could have used a stress-free service game after the eight-minute drama that preceded and that’s what he got, racing ahead to 40-love and with three quick points off his first serve before slicing a backhand volley winner on the approach to consolidate at 15 and bring the crowd to their feet!
1.36am BST Nadal breaks in fifth game of fifth set!Fifth set: Medvedev 5-7, 3-6, 7-5, 6-4, 2-3 Nadal* (*denotes next server) 1.28am BST Fifth set: *Medvedev 5-7, 3-6, 7-5, 6-4, 2-2 Nadal (*denotes next server)Back in a third set which seems like a lifetime ago, the more than 23,000 spectators here at Arthur Ashe Stadium were behind Medvedev because they wanted more tennis. Now they’re squarely behind Nadal, trying to will him toward the finish line at full throat more than four hours into this wonderful battle. Nadal is able to hold at 15, putting the pressure back on the world No 5. 1.22am BST Fifth set: Medvedev 5-7, 3-6, 7-5, 6-4, 2-1 Nadal* (*denotes next server)Medvedev holds easily, capping it with a backhand volley winner at the net. The Russian is 17-for-20 on serve and volley points today. He was 4-for-5 on serve and volley points in the first six matches of this tournament. 1.19am BST Fifth set: *Medvedev 5-7, 3-6, 7-5, 6-4, 1-1 Nadal (*denotes next server)Nadal falls behind love-30 and 15-40 on his serve and Medvedev has a pair of break points early in the fifth! The 19-time major champion is simply getting bossed around the court by the grand slam final debutant’s forehand. Nadal saves them both with the forehand, but then badly misses a volley at the net to give the Russian a third break chance. Now a fatigued Nadal is called for a second time violation which results in the loss of his first serve (break point down!), but he saves it with a forehand and wins two more points from there – capped by a 121mph service winner down the middle – to hold. Phew! 1.13am BST Fifth set: Medvedev 5-7, 3-6, 7-5, 6-4, 1-0 Nadal* (*denotes next server)Medvedev holds easily to open the fifth. Bear in mind: Nadal’s record at major tournaments when leading by two sets is 205-1, while Medvedev’s lifetime record in five-set matches is 0-4. The Russian is attempting to become the first player to win from two sets down in a US Open final since Pancho Gonzales won 16-18, 2-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 over Ted Schroeder in 1949. 1.06am BST Medvedev breaks in 10th game of fourth set!
Fourth set: Medvedev 5-7, 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 Nadal 12.58am BST Fourth set: Medvedev 5-7, 3-6, 7-5, 5-4 Nadal* (*denotes next server)And Medvedev answers Nadal’s easy service game with a love hold of his own, capping it with a 127mph ace down the pipe. Nadal will serve to stay in the fourth set after the changeover.
12.56am BST Fourth set: *Medvedev 5-7, 3-6, 7-5, 4-4 Nadal (*denotes next server)Nadal holds at love. Four quick and tidy points. 4-all in the fourth. 12.51am BST Fourth set: Medvedev 5-7, 3-6, 7-5, 4-3 Nadal* (*denotes next server)Medvedev holds at 30, punching in his eighth and ninth aces for good measure. It feels like a completely different match than an hour ago.
12.50am BST Fourth set: *Medvedev 5-7, 3-6, 7-5, 3-3 Nadal (*denotes next server)Nadal holds for 3-all as night has fallen on Arthur Ashe Stadium and the clock hits three hours and 30 minutes. Medvedev it seems has figured out to play Nadal on the fly, coming in again and again to clearly trouble his Spanish opponent: 3-for-4 in this set and 36-of-45 on the day. 12.41am BST Fourth set: Medvedev 5-7, 3-6, 7-5, 3-2 Nadal* (*denotes next server)Medvedev hits a 123mph ace for 30-love and appears rolling toward an easy hold, but he follows with three straight unforced errors off the backhand for 30-40 and a break point. Now Medvedev goes with a serve and volley behind a second serve break point down (!) and Nadal misses the passing shot. Break point saved. Medvedev follows with an overhead winner for game point, but makes another backhand error for deuce. Now Medvedev makes his fifth unforced error off the backhand in just this game to gift Nadal a second break point, but it’s saved when Nadal misfires on a backhand. Two quick points for the Russian and he’s held going into the change of ends. 12.34am BST Fourth set: *Medvedev 5-7, 3-6, 7-5, 2-2 Nadal (*denotes next server)Nadal opens with his 40th winner of the match (compared to 29 unforced errors), then rattles off three quick points capped by a 107mph ace twisting out wide for a hold at love.
12.30am BST Fourth set: Medvedev 5-7, 3-6, 7-5, 2-1 Nadal* (*denotes next server)
A whiff of a chance here for Nadal at 30-all on Medvedev’s serve, but the Spaniard nets a pair of returns and they’ll head to the changeover on serve early in the fourth. 12.26am BST Fourth set: *Medvedev 5-7, 3-6, 7-5, 1-1 Nadal (*denotes next server)Nadal makes his third double fault of the match for love-15, then nets backhand for love-30. Medvedev has won 15 of the last 20 points and Nadal is in a spot of trouble early in the fourth. The Spaniard wins two quick points, but then misfires off a forehand into the net off the back foot to go break point down. Medvedev then puts a backhand into the net and he’ll rue that one! It was a bit of a sitter and the miss lets Nadal off the hook. The world No 2 then hits a backhand winner down the line punctuated by a lawnmower fist pump and follows it with a 125mph ace down the middle for the hold! 12.20am BST Fourth set: Medvedev 5-7, 3-6, 7-5, 1-0 Nadal* (*denotes next server)Medvedev will serve in front in the fourth after breaking in the final game of the third. He races to 40-love, but Nadal answers with three straight winners for deuce. Then Medvedev rips a backhand past an approaching Nadal for game point, then hits another backhand winner to hold. It’s been three full games since Medvedev has hit an unforced error.
12.15am BST Mailbox time. This email from Abhijato Sensarma comes in during the set break. The dominance of the Big Three for these many years, even after reaching the ages they have, is an unparalleled success story in sports. I think we should give it up for Nadal even more. He’s perennially the world’s best on clay courts; yet, Djokovic has had the upper hand on clay courts for a long time now. Granted that the Serbian was forced to make an early exit from the tournament, but the hard court jinx has been broken for Nadal in the process. Will he now have a better chance of chasing Federer’s Slam record down? 12.12am BST Medvedev breaks in 12th game of third set!
Third set: Medvedev 5-7, 3-6, 7-5 Nadal 12.05am BST Third set: Medvedev 5-7, 3-6, 6-5 Nadal* (*denotes next server)Medvedev gets the best of Nadal in a 27-stroke rally to open the game, then follows with a 117mph ace, a backhand volley winner and a 120mph ace. He’s still here. And now Nadal will serve to force a third-set tiebreaker. 12.02am BST Third set: *Medvedev 5-7, 3-6, 5-5 Nadal (*denotes next server)Another elementary service game for Nadal, who holds at love for 5-all. Back-to-back love holds for Nadal since he was broken. Medvedev’s turn.
11.59pm BST Third set: Medvedev 5-7, 3-6, 5-4 Nadal* (*denotes next server)Medvedev is pushed to 30-all on his serve, then Nadal takes command of a 28-shot exchange – the longest rally of the match – with a battery of inside-out forehands before winning it with a forehand for a break-point chance. Feels like a match point, really. And Medvedev saves it by coming forward for a forehand overhand winner that winds up in the President’s Box. Nadal then hits a forehand passing winner for another break point, but Medvedev saves it again when Nadal puts a bouncing overhead into the net. Deuce. Medvedev getting run ragged here and looks completely gassed, but he delivers a leaping backhand volley for game point and earns the hold with an overhead winner. The pressure shifts to Nadal after the changeover. It’s just mad, isn’t it – you really do feel that the era of the Big Three will end, not with any of them being supplanted at the top by a new generation of talent, but with the Big Three themselves choosing to call it a day. It’s not even like they’re players in their thirties who are still mixing it with the best; they’re on an entirely different level to the young pretenders. 11.52pm BST Third set: *Medvedev 5-7, 3-6, 4-4 Nadal (*denotes next server)Another easy service game for the Spaniard, who holds at love. On the second point Nadal struck his 31st winner of the match (against 23 unforced errors) with a forehand volley at the end of a grueling 25-shot rally.
11.45pm BST Third set: Medvedev 5-7, 3-6, 4-3 Nadal* (*denotes next server)Medvedev consolidates the break nicely, holding at 15. Some clever variety from the Russian in that hold, including a cheeky drop shot winner at the end of a 17-stroke exchange to set up game point.
11.42pm BST Medvedev breaks in sixth game of third set!Third set: *Medvedev 5-7, 3-6, 3-3 Nadal (*denotes next server) 11.33pm BST Nadal breaks in fifth game of third set!Third set: Medvedev 5-7, 3-6, 2-3 Nadal* (*denotes next server)Evening Bryan. Call me crazy if you want, but I’m calling this for Rafa here and now. Straight sets. I think he’s got a good chance in Paris next year too ... 11.29pm BST Third set: *Medvedev 5-7, 3-6, 2-2 Nadal (*denotes next server)A flagging Medvedev is throwing everything he’s got at Nadal in the Spaniard’s service games, but it’s all coming right back at him. Nadal caps an exhausting 23-shot rally with a forehand volley winner for 40-15, then holds his serve with an overhead winner.
11.24pm BST Third set: Medvedev 5-7, 3-6, 2-1 Nadal* (*denotes next server)Medvedev holds at love, finishing it off with a 119mph ace out wide.
11.23pm BST Third set: *Medvedev 5-7, 3-6, 1-1 Nadal (*denotes next server)Nadal cruises to another hold to keep step early in the third. That first-serve percentage continues to improve: it’s up to 56% now after starting in the 35% range.
11.17pm BST Third set: Medvedev 5-7, 3-6, 1-0 Nadal* (*denotes next server)Medvedev holds at 15 to open the third set, crunching a 121mph ace along the way. 11.09pm BST Second set: Medvedev 5-7, 3-6 Nadal
Nadal opens with a forehand winner but Medvedev responds with two quick points for 15-30. Nadal then wins an easy point off his first serve followed by a wild miss by Medvedev for set point ... and he converts with a sharply angled forehand into the corner that Medvedev can’t return into the court. Nadal wins the second after 48 minutes and is one set from a fourth US Open title and 19th overall major championship. 11.04pm BST Second set: Medvedev 5-7, 3-5 Nadal* (*denotes next server)It’s something of a must-hold for Medvedev, whose career record in five-set matches is 0-4. And he delivers with his first love hold of the afternoon for 3-5. Now can he break Nadal’s serve? 11.01pm BST Second set: *Medvedev 5-7, 2-5 Nadal (*denotes next server)Nadal backs up the break convincingly, sealing the hold at 15 when Medvedev makes his 14th unforced error off the backhand. The Russian will serve to stay in the second set after the change of ends. 10.57pm BST Nadal breaks in sixth game of second set!Second set: Medvedev 5-7, 2-4 Nadal* (*denotes next server) 10.51pm BST Second set: *Medvedev 5-7, 2-3 Nadal (*denotes next server)Nadal holds at 15. Two more unforced errors from the Medvedev backhand, who’s made 13 on that side. 10.46pm BST Second set: Medvedev 5-7, 2-2 Nadal* (*denotes next server)Big trouble for Medvedev as he makes his 22nd, 23rd and 24th unforced errors in quick succession to fall behind love-40. He saves the first with a winner off a quick net approach, then another with a forehand winner to cap a 17-stroke baseline rally, then the third with a backhand winner from the baseline. Another misfire from the baseline gives Nadal a fourth break point but Medvedev saves that too with an overhead that Nadal can’t return in play. From there Medvedev is able to spring the escape with a couple of quick points. 10.39pm BST Second set: *Medvedev 5-7, 1-2 Nadal (*denotes next server)Nadal holds at 30. He’s got that first-serve percentage up to 54% on the day after an anemic start. 10.35pm BST Second set: Medvedev 5-7, 1-1 Nadal* (*denotes next server)Medvedev comes to net only to get passed by a Nadal backhand, but he answers with four quick points for a drama-free hold.
10.30pm BST Second set: *Medvedev 5-7, 0-1 Nadal (*denotes next server)A promising chance for Medvedev to get right back into it as he wins the first two points of the second set on Nadal’s serve. The Spaniard pulls back for 30-all but Medvedev pounds a forehand winner for 30-40 and a break-point opportunity. Nadal saves it when Medvedev misses a short backhand, already his 11th unforced error off that side today. From there Nadal is able to hold, capping it with a 123mph service winner down the middle. 10.23pm BST Nadal breaks in 12th game of first set!First set: Medvedev 5-7 Nadal 10.16pm BST First set: *Medvedev 5-6 Nadal (*denotes next server)Nadal races ahead 30-love and he’s now won 14 straight points on his serve. Medvedev is able to push it to 40-30 but Nadal holds with a winner at the net and now the Russian will serve to stay in the first set. 10.11pm BST First set: Medvedev 5-5 Nadal* (*denotes next server)Medvedev is pushed every step of the way during an eight-minute, 14-point service game before Nadal finally blinks with a netted forehand from the baseline. Medvedev playing big with 14 winners to 18 unforced errors (compared to six winners and eight unforced errors for Nadal). We’re at 5-all in the opener as the clock drifts toward the hour mark. 10.01pm BST First set: *Medvedev 4-5 Nadal (*denotes next server)Nadal breezes through another love hold, capping it with a 108mph ace out wide. He’s won 12 straight points on his serve since getting broken. And he’s doing it with a low first-serve percentage (46%).
9.59pm BST First set: Medvedev 4-4 Nadal* (*denotes next server)Medvedev makes his 10th, 11th and 12th unforced errors to fall behind love-15 then 15-40. Two break-point chances for Nadal. Medvedev saves the first with a forehand volley winner, then the second with a winner off a serve and volley. Medvedev gets to game point with another volley winner but Nadal pulls one back for another deuce. Now Medvedev makes his second double fault of the day to go break point down again, but Medvedev saves it with a backhand winner (upheld by a challenge) followed by two quick points for the hold. Medvedev playing more assertively over the last few minutes: he hit five winners in that last game after only three in the first seven games. He needs to keep that up because counter-punching won’t do it. 9.52pm BST First set: *Medvedev 3-4 Nadal (*denotes next server)Medvedev falls behind love-15 on a double fault which Nadal must challenge to confirm, but the Russian rattles off four quick points for the hold.
9.47pm BST First set: Medvedev 3-3 Nadal* (*denotes next server)Medvedev falls behind love-15 on a double fault which Nadal must challenge to confirm, but the Russian rattles off four quick points for the hold.
9.44pm BST First set: *Medvedev 2-3 Nadal (*denotes next server)Nadal consolidates in convincing fashion with the love hold. We’re even steven in the opening. Neither man playing his best tennis so far, but you can’t help but feel Medvedev may have let an opportunity slip in giving back that break so fast when Nadal was a bit out of sorts. 9.42pm BST Nadal breaks in fourth game of first set!First set: Medvedev 2-2 Nadal* (*denotes next server) 9.38pm BST Medvedev breaks in third game of first set!First set: *Medvedev 2-1 Nadal (*denotes next server) 9.38pm BST First set: Medvedev 1-1 Nadal* (*denotes next server)Medvedev holds at 30 in his opening service game, anchored by a big first serve that he’s getting in early. 9.25pm BST First set: *Medvedev 0-1 Nadal (*denotes next server)Big buzz on Ashe as Nadal steps to the baseline to serve. Medvedev standing so far back awaiting the return, nearly in the first row. Nadal wins the first point when Medvedev makes an unforced error on a backhand from the baseline, then another with a goregeous forehand winner from around the netpost. But Medvedev pushes it to 30-all when Nadal double-faults then misfires on a baseline forehand. Next Medvedev gets the best of his opponent with a wicked backhand at the end of a 16-stroke rally and the Russian will have an early break-point opportunity. Nadal is given a warning for a time violation – next time it will be a fault – then smashes a service winner for deuce. Nadal then rattles off two quick points for the opening hold. 9.12pm BST The players have emerged from the tunnel! First comes Medvedev, who walks out to a smattering of boos but lots of cheers from the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd. Then it’s Nadal, the crowd favorite who is greeted by roaring applause. Nadal wins the toss and elects to serve. Now they’re going through the warm-ups. We should be under way in the next few minutes. 8.52pm BST Here’s a look at how today’s finalists match up. Nadal won the only previous meeting between the pair in the Montreal final on 11 August, strolling to a 6-0, 6-3 victory. 8.37pm BST Hello and welcome to Arthur Ashe Stadium for today’s US Open men’s final between Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev. We’ve got a delicious matchup in store between the second-ranked Nadal, who is bidding for his fourth title at Flushing Meadows, and the fifth-seeded Medvedev, who is making his major final debut as one of the hottest players on the men’s tour.Medvedev, who is seeking to become the first men’s grand slam champion born in the 1990s, enters today’s match on a career-best 12-match win streak and has become only the third player in the Open era to reach the Washington, Canada, Cincinnati and US Open finals in the same season, joining Ivan Lendl in 1982 and Andre Agassi in 1995. He’s embraced his role as the villain of this tournament and rode the momentum all the way to the championship match. 3.13pm BST Bryan will be here shortly. In the meantime, here’s Kevin Mitchell on today’s final:Not for the first time, John McEnroe stirred the game into debate when he asserted that Roger Federer may finish his career with fewer grand slam titles than Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. “Who would have thought that possible?” the walking quote asked on air shortly before Nadal stilled the robust challenge of the 23-year-old Italian Matteo Berrettini on Friday night to reach the final of the US Open for the fifth time, against Daniil Medvedev on Sunday.The Spaniard has won three of his 18 majors on this court, Federer has won five of his 20 here – in a row, the last of them 11 years ago – and Djokovic, the world No 1, has lifted three of 16 at Flushing Meadows. Federer and Djokovic have left town: the Swiss spent and hurting with a bad back, the Serb forced to quit with a shoulder injury. Related: Rafael Nadal wary of in-form Daniil Medvedev in race for ultimate prize | Kevin Mitchell Continue reading...

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