Nadal survives late Medvedev scare to win US Open

Rafael Nadal was exhausted he never served and volleyed so much- Wilander

Rafael Nadal is at peace with himself.

Delivering one of his most dramatic major final performances, Rafael Nadal captured his 19th career Grand Slam title Sunday (Monday in Manila) by winning his fourth US Open, outlasting Russia's Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6 and 6-4.

It was not just Medvedev's stamina, athleticism and fighting spirit that were striking on Sunday night, but his ability to problem-solve and change his game.

Nadal, who won his only prior meeting with Medvedev in last month's Montreal final, stretched his win streak over Russians to 20 matches since losing to Nikolay Davydenko in the 2011 Doha semi-finals. He was empty. He had given it his all, and then some more.

Tennis pundit David Law ensured Medvedev got the praise he deserved after the match, while claiming there are only a select few players on the planet who could have dug out victory like Nadal did.

"When I was looking on the screen and they were showing No. 1, No. 2..." I think they appreciated it.

The Russian fifth seed dropped the first two sets in his first Grand Slam final but charged back to force a decider, nearly erasing a double-break deficit in the fifth set before going down 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4. "Because even if you are in a negative dynamic, you know from your experience and you really believe that you can have your chance in the fifth". "In that way, I am very, very calm, very pleased with myself".

Nadal squandered two break and match points in the ninth game as the drama intensified.

His victory saw him join an elite club with Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Pete Sampras and Federer as winners of four or more U.S. Open men's singles titles in the open era.

He said that while he was honoured to be part of the battle to be crowned the greatest of all time, and thrilled if it attracted more fans to the game, he would still sleep well if he comes up short. "All the things that I have achieved in my career are much more than what I ever thought and what I ever dream". Spain's David Ferrer, who retired in May, said that there are no words to describe what Rafael Nadal means to the sport or the values that he conveys in every way.

Moments later, Nadal lay spread-eagled at the Arthur Ashe stadium with the knowledge that he'd just won his fourth US Open title in a decade in which his oldest and greatest rival, fast-court specialist Roger Federer, had won none. "I don't compete for it". When he was asked about the Big Three and the "healthy rivalry" between them, Nadal frowned and replied: "I would love to be the one who have more", he said. But personally, is not really a fight. I'm ready for these moments to just be there and try to win the match.

"With my age and with my goals, I can not lose energy or time following the number one". But it's not my main goal.

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