After many consecutive victories on clay at the beginning of his career, Rafael Nadal has proven to be a great champion on other surfaces as well (grass and hard court). At the 2019 US Open, Nadal lost only one set (against Marin Čilić) en route to the final, which he won against Daniil Medvedev in five sets.
In doing so, Nadal claimed his fourth US Open title and 19th Grand Slam title (placing him only one behind Roger Federer in overall standings). During a new interview with Eurosport’s Players’ Cut, Nadal's current mentor Carlos Moya recalled last year's US Open final against Daniil Mevedev: “Well, it was a little bit of everything, of course tactically.
They played each other a few weeks before in the final in Canada, when Rafa won pretty easily. The beginning was tough, but then he played really well, and he won easily. Then Medvedev won in Cincinnati, so it was not a surprise to face him in the final of the US Open.
Honestly, we thought that the longer the match was, the better for Rafa. Because if you remember, he struggled a little bit during the tournament. He played many matches that summer. And we thought that the longer it was the better for Rafa.
And after he won the first two sets, I thought: I think this is close to be over. I don’t think he’s going to be able to come back. But it was amazing what happened after that. Rafa was two sets and a break up in the third set but he could not convert.
And then he had break points to go and serve for the match and then things got really, really bad for Rafa. But yeah, it was about convincing him that it is not easy to play a first Grand Slam final against a player that has played so many finals like Rafa.
Experience for me was very important. But also, Rafa has the game to adapt and to change things and try things to hurt Daniil’s game. But honestly, I think Medvedev changed his tactics completely when he was down and that took us a little bit by surprise”.