'I gave everything against Rafael Nadal, there's no regret,' Daniil Medvedev recalls

by   |  VIEW 8597

'I gave everything against Rafael Nadal, there's no regret,' Daniil Medvedev recalls

Daniil Medvedev claimed his first Major title at the season's last Major in New York, beating Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 for the US Open crown. Two years ago, Daniil competed in his first Major final against Rafael Nadal in New York, experiencing a tough 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4 loss after four hours and 49 minutes.

Nadal claimed the 19th Major title, barely prevailing in the decisive moments against the youngster who gave his everything to stay in touch and prove himself on the big scene. Both players had more winners than unforced errors in an incredible mixture of attacking tennis and a mind-blowing defense, as we expected from the world's best players in those moments.

Nadal was two sets to love ahead and with a break in the third before Medvedev started to climb back, setting up a decider in what could have been the most significant turnaround at the US Open in 70 years. Nonetheless, Nadal survived the fifth set's opening service game and moved over the top with two breaks on his tally.

The opening set lasted for over an hour and brought a grueling battle. Rafa struggled to find the first serve and paid the price already in the third game when Daniil broke after the Spaniard's loose forehand. The Russian could not stay in front for too long, though, spraying a backhand error in the next game to bring the Spaniard back to the positive side, with three more return chances for world no.

2 at 4-3. Daniil repelled them and survived another challenging service game at 4-5 when he was two points from losing the set four times. In the rest of the set, Nadal was in the zone, delivering one good hold after another and finally stealing Medvedev's serve in game 12 for 7-5 after 63 minutes.

Daniil was the more aggressive player again in set number two, wasting a break chance in the first game and finding himself under pressure after failing to do much in the next four return games.

Rafael Nadal prevailed over Daniil Medvedev in the 2019 US Open final.

Rafa squandered four break chances at 2-1 before earning the desired break two games later when Daniil netted a forehand, serving well and wrapping up the set in game nine.

Nadal grabbed a break in the third set's fifth game when Medvedev netted a backhand, marching towards the finish line and the title in those moments. Getting broken only once so far, the Spaniard played a loose service game to waste the advantage and bring the Russian back to 3-3.

Rafa had more chances to go ahead at 4-4 when the youngster repelled a couple of break chances for a massive momentum. Medvedev held at love in game 11 and stole Nadal's serve at 15 with a backhand down the line winner in the next one for 7-5 and a better position on the court after two hours and 53 minutes.

The fourth set lasted for over 50 minutes, and it was a mighty close one, with Daniil winning one point more than Rafa. The Russian repelled two break chances at 2-2 and delivered the pivotal break in game ten after taking four straight points from 40-15 down.

Medvedev closed the set with a return winner and was a set away from one of the most remarkable comebacks in the Major finals. Facing an ultimate challenge, Rafa saved three break points in the fifth set's second game in a manner of a true champion.

That allowed him to take charge and deliver a break in game five after ten mediocre return games. The more experienced player held in game six and produced another break in game seven to forge a 5-2 advantage and put one hand on the trophy.

Losing focus a bit in those moments, the Spaniard received a time violation and suffered a break after a double fault to keep Medvedev alive. Fighting like a lion, Daniil repelled two match points on serve with winners in game nine to reduce the deficit to 5-4 and force the Spaniard to serve for the title.

With no room for errors, Rafa finally sailed over the finish line after fending off a break point in game ten, celebrating the title in what had been one of the longest US Open finals in history. "I do not regret that US Open final defeat against Rafael Nadal that much; I do not think there was something I could do better.

Still, I had a break chance at 4-5 in the fifth, missing a forehand that maybe cost me the victory. It's not like I led 5-1 and lost the advantage; I did everything I could. As a competitor, I always like to win, and I was disappointed to lose my first Major final. But I can not change that now," Daniil Medvedev said.