Rafael Nadal beat Daniil Medvedev of Russia , 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4, in the 2019 US men’s singles final to win his 19th career Grand Slam title, and his fourth US Open crown.
After nearly five hours of drama in Arthur Ashe Stadium, the Spaniard survived an inspired effort from Russian No. 5 seed Daniil Medvedev.
After leading by two sets and a break, Nadal found himself facing three break points in his opening service game of the deciding set. He saved all three, then edged back in front—this time for good—when a backhand winner punctuated a 28-ball rally on break point for 3-2. The tension persisted until the last ball, as Nadal saved a break point in his final service game.
As Nadal found championship form on Sunday, Medvedev, known for his on- and off-court smarts, had plenty of answers in the face of the ultimate examination.
Nadal’s victory moves him within one of Swiss rival Roger Federer’s all-time leading tally of Grand Slam victories.
“It has been one of the most emotional nights in my tennis career,” Nadal said. “It has been an amazing final. It has been a crazy match.”
After taking his third match point, Nadal collapsed to the court in celebration, covering his face as contemplated another famous victory which epitomised all of his fighting spirit.
Medvedev, 23, trudged around the net to warmly congratulate his opponent, who looked on the verge of tears as he hid behind his sweat-soaked vest while taking rapturous acclaim.
“I just want to congratulate Rafa, a 19th Grand Slam title is something unbelievable, outrageous,” said Medvedev, who looked mesmerised as he watched a video montage of Nadal’s achievements.
Those lucky enough to be watching among a near 24,000 capacity crowd were regularly left open-mouthed at what they witnessed, with the majority jumping to their feet and celebrating wildly after every point, helping create an electric atmosphere on a noisy Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Medvedev had been booed by the crowd earlier in the tournament, yet heard his name loudly chanted by many as he threatened to complete an extraordinary comeback.
Ultimately it was too late as he was unable to become the first man outside Nadal, Federer and Serbia’s world number one Novak Djokovic to claim one of the sport’s biggest prizes since Stan Wawrinka’s victory here in 2016.
Nadal, Federer and Djokovic have won the past 12 Grand Slams after the Spaniard lifted the trophy in New York for a fourth time.