US Open: Rafael Nadal vs Daniil Medvedev men's final preview
Last Updated: 08/09/19 8:35pm
Rafael Nadal will bid to close within one of Roger Federer's all-time Grand Slam haul of 20 titles when he takes on in-form Daniil Medvedev in the US Open final.
The 33-year-old Spaniard has been in devastating form in New York and will target his fourth success at Flushing Meadows as he aims to capitalise on a consistent campaign in the majors.
Nadal reached the Australian Open final and the semi-finals at Wimbledon, while he won his 12th French Open title in June.
Will Nadal clinch Grand Slam title No 19?
Nadal is targeting his fifth major victory since the 2017 French Open and is well aware of the opportunity he has presented himself with in the race for the most career men's Grand Slam titles.
Federer squandered two championship points in the Wimbledon final to let Novak Djokovic close to within four of the Swiss' tally and at 38 is running out of opportunities to add further major silverware.
This is the fifth time in his career Nadal was the lone member of the 'Big Three' to reach a Grand Slam semi-final. On the other four occasions, Nadal went on to win the title (2010, 2017-18 French Open, 2017 US Open).
"You win, you lose. That's part of all the sport. Of course, I would love to be the one who achieve more Grand Slams, but I still sleep very well without being the one who has more grand slams," Nadal said.
But it's true, I would love to be the one to have more, yes, but you cannot be frustrated all day thinking about what your neighbour has that is better than you.
"I'm happy about my career. I'm very happy about what I'm doing. I'm going to keep working hard to try to produce chances. Sunday is one. It's just one more chance, that's all.
"My opponents are going to keep playing. If I'm able to win on Sunday, OK, it will be amazing. If I lose, I hope to keep having chances in the future to add things.
"But it's true, I would love to be the one to have more, yes, but you cannot be frustrated all day thinking about what your neighbour has that is better than you.
"You have to be happy with yourself. You have to do it your way. If you are the one to achieve more, fantastic. If not, at least I gave my best during all my career."
Victory would certainly add further credence to the argument he is a true all-rounder and not just the clay-court supremo his detractors advocate.
Most Grand Slam men's singles titles (all-time)
|Player||No of titles|
Medvedev a worthy finalist
Medvedev will pose a stern examination for Nadal after a sensational summer which has seen the 23-year-old Russian emerge as one of the world's best.
He has become only the third man to reach all four finals in the same season during the Open Era, leading the tour with 50 match wins in 2019.
Medvedev's memorable summer
Medvedev is only the third player in history, after Ivan Lendl and Andre Agassi, to reach finals in Washington, Canada, Cincinnati and the US Open in the same year.
The fifth seed possesses a powerful game and has proved a real presence during the tournament, falling out of favour with sections of the New York crowd along the way.
Medvedev, who will rise to world No 4 after this tournament, had never been past the fourth round at a major but will now aim to become the first male Grand Slam champion from Russia since Marat Safin in 2005.
"This summer's been so fast and long at the same time," he said.
"Long because I've played so many matches. At the same time so fast because I didn't have any moment to just sit down and look back and say, 'OK, I've done amazing things.' Hopefully I will have some time after Sunday."
Respective paths to the final
Rafael Nadal's route to the US Open final
|First round||John Millman||6-3 6-2 6-2|
|Second round||Thanasi Kokkinakis||Walkover|
|Third round||Hyeon Chung||6-3 6-4 6-2|
|Fourth round||Marin Cilic||6-3 3-6 6-1 6-2|
|Quarter-final||Diego Schwartzman||6-4 7-5 6-2|
|Semi-final||Matteo Berrettini||7-6 (8-6) 6-4 6-1|
Daniil Medvedev's route to the US Open final
|First round||Prajnesh Gunneswaran||6-4 6-1 6-2|
|Second round||Hugo Dellien||6-3 7-5 5-7 6-3|
|Third round||Feliciano Lopez||7-6 (7-1) 4-6 7-6 (9-7) 6-4|
|Fourth round||Dominik Koepfer||3-6 6-3 6-2 7-6 (7-2)|
|Quarter-final||Stan Wawrinka||7-6 (8-6) 6-3 3-6 6-1|
|Semi-final||Grigor Dimitrov||7-6 (7-5) 6-4 6-3|
Resilience rewarded for Nadal?
Nadal has appeared a man on a mission, losing one set in his six victories on his way a fifth US Open final.
Injury hit his hopes last year as he was forced to retire with a knee problem in the semi-finals against Juan Martin del Potro.
This time around the world No 2 has taken advantage of defending champion Djokovic being forced to pull out injured in the fourth round and a surprising quarter-final exit for Federer.
"When I arrived here, my goal was to produce a chance to compete for the big thing again. Here I am," he said.
"I've given myself another chance, as I did at Wimbledon, as I did in Australia, as I did at Roland Garros. That's the personal satisfaction. That's the personal happiness."
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