Rafael Nadal's career is studded with great successes and incredible records: with 19 Slams he is aiming Roger Federer's record, but the Spaniard has achieved other great goals, such as the twelve triumphs at the Roland Garros and all the titles on clay.
For each season, however, there is a particular goal, an achievement that should be highlighted. Regarding Rafa, everyone always said that he is the greatest player ever on clay-courts, but many, indeed too many, always underestimated his strength on fast surfaces.
The tactical intelligence of the Spaniard is also evident on surfaces that are not congenial to him: in 2019 he won his 4th title at the US Open. It can't be just a coincidence. In New York he started as seed no.2. In the first round he eliminated John Millman in three sets, showing a great psycho-physical shape.
In the second round Rafa benefited from a walkover (he would have had to face Thanasi Kokkinakis - ed.). Hyeon Chung was his opponent in the third round, beaten in three sets. He had some extra difficulty to overcome Marin Cilic's resistance, needing four sets to beat the Croatian.
Towards the incredible 2019 US Open final between Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev
In the quarterfinals and semifinals he defeated Diego Schwartzman and Matteo Berrettini, respectably. In the final he met the news of 2019: Daniil Medvedev.
After a batle of five exciting and dramatic sets, Nadal won his 4th title on the Arthur Ashe Stadium, beating the Russian with the final score of 7-5 6-3 5-7 4-6 6-4. Last year Nadal won 4 titles, including his 12th French Open.
That was perhaps the most difficult challenge of the season for the Spaniard, who faced an opponent who didn't give him points of reference and who put him in difficulty in the middle phase of the match. A truly significant test, which Nadal passed thanks to his infinite experience and his hunger for victories.
“The year was full of emotions, also because I went through different periods. I experienced moments of enormous joy, but I also went through a very complicated period, the one between the Australian Open and the Barcelona tournament.
The wrist problems that emerged on the eve of the Acapulco tournament, the defeat against Nick Kyrgios in a game I should have won and the knee pain in Indian Wells were not easy experiences to live," said Rafael Nadal at the end of the season.