US Open 2019: Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev display 'unforgettable fight' in near five-hour marathon

FP Sports

New York: The 19th Grand Slam title that seemed so inevitable for Rafael Nadal during the first two-plus sets of the US 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.

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. And sportspersons were all in awe of both players for their determination and grit.

Former Spanish tennis player David Ferrer wrote, "There are now words to describe what Nadal has done for the sport and the values he transmits in all aspects. Thanks!"

Argentine tennis player Federico Delbonis wrote, "Let's clone Nadal's brain! It is unique! What a fighter!"

Spanish football keeper Pepe Reina wrote, "You have guts Don Rafael Nadal! Example for life!"

The win continues the Big 3's dominance at Grand Slams. 12 straight majors between Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. The last player to break in? Stan Wawrinka in 2016.

(With inputs from AP)

Also See: US Open 2019, Rafael Nadal vs Daniil Medvedev Highlights, men's singles final: Nadal wins 19th Grand Slam in five set marathon

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