Published: Wed, September 11, 2019
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Nadal faces biggest test in US Open final

Nadal faces biggest test in US Open final

"You know, I still [am just] 24".

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"I'm not much anxious about this because in tennis always going to be great champions".

A triumph Sunday will go to within a few among rival Roger Federer (20) for its many adult men's singles Grand Slam names of most time. The 23-year-old, into his fourth successive final, this one a Grand Slam, is on his way. Rafa's rhythm could be upset by Medvedev's incessant defence, and perhaps the Russian's apparent complacency could irritate consummate professional Nadal, as Nick Kyrgios so often does.

Delivering well-controlled tennis on both serve and return, Rafa ousted five rivals (Thanasi Kokkinakins gave him a walkover in the second round) to find himself in the 27th Major final, defeating John Millman, Hyeon Chung, Marin Cilic, Diego Schwartzman and Matteo Berrettini to earn the place in the final, his fifth in NY and the tenth overall on hard court after adding five in Melbourne as well.

Legend John McEnroe, who spent Saturday at his Randall's Island SPORTIME facility giving out eight BNP Paribas tennis scholarships to kids, based on financial need, said he believes it "probable" Nadal and Novak Djokovic (who has 16 Slam titles) will surpass the Swiss Maestro one day. Now, onto the final fierce battles, two underdogs against two beloved champions, either way we are in for some thrilling tennis. Nadal lost the first point of the tie break with a double fault and his opponent stretched the tally to 4-0 before Nadal got his first point and took the sixth point on a break of Berrettini serve. Nadal has won his last 11 matches on hard court. He has much more confidence in his serve and has managed to boost the speed of both his first and second serves. I think it would have been easier for him if he converted break points. He's also improved his all-court game and feels more sure of himself when approaching the net and volleying. So many gamers and so many individuals discovered them earlier than me.

"But it's true, I would love to be the one to have more, yes, but you can not be frustrated all day thinking about what your neighbour has that is better than you". Medvedev has won 18 of 22 sets this tournament and has now won 12 straight matches. He's also the first man to win five majors after turning 30. Medvedev looks to win his sixth title of his career and is 5-4 in final appearances on hard court.


"I'll definitely remember it", Medvedev said, "even when I'm, like, 70 years old". And he has earned it. He has made the final in three consecutive tournaments (Washington, Montreal and Cincinnati) where he has gone 1-2. Nadal said. "Very tough mentally and physically, too". That's what I've been missing before. He led 5-2. Then 6-4, needing one point to take the set, as raucous supporters stood and yelled.

'I knew I should not give him any rhythm, ' he mentioned, properly capturing his sport plan after beating Wawrinka on Tuesday. But here, this week, everything has worked out. "He was much closer to winning in the first set, I was kind of lucky to win it". I was playing better than him in the next two sets. "He's having an fantastic summer". We can get [1.65] on Medvedev with a 7.5 game head start, which looks a decent enough spot in what I think should be a more competitive final than many people are anticipating. Like his attitude is something that it's - I think it's close to the perfection.

Nadal's record against first-time grand slam finalists doesn't bode well for Medvedev: 5-1.

If he continues his current progress, Medvedev may well become the first man from the next generation to break the stranglehold of the "Big Three" on Slams, but that will have to wait for another day. He has won a lot, which means he had ended up playing a lot of matches as well.

Nadal dismantled Medvedev in their only previous meeting, which came in the final of the Rogers Cup (aka Canadian Open) in mid-August. The bad news he has had quadriceps and adductor issues, which he has tried to boring with painkillers at the Open.

Rafael Nadal celebrates after reaching the final. He may have to take a trick or two out of Safin's playbook to slay this giant.

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