Sept. 8 (UPI) — Spain’s Rafael Nadal outlasted Russian Daniil Medvedev in a five-set marathon that lasted about five hours to win his fourth U.S. Open and 19th career Grand Slam title on Sunday at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.
Nadal, the tournament’s No. 2 seed, edged the fifth-seeded Medvedev 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4 at Flushing Meadows. The win moved Nadal to within one of Swiss star Roger Federer for the most Grand Slam victories by a male player in tennis history.
Nadal also became the first male player in the Open era to win five Grand Slam trophies after turning 30.
“This has been one of the most emotional nights in my tennis career,” Nadal said during his on-court interview. “It’s been a pleasure to play in front of you in this amazing stadium, so many, many thanks for everything.”
Nadal jumped out to a quick lead after winning the opening two sets. Medvedev, looking for his first win in a major tournament, began his comeback and fought back to force a decisive fifth set.
Nadal broke to lead 3-2 in the fifth set and again for a 5-2 advantage, but the Spaniard failed to serve out the win, double-faulting on break point and failing to convert two match points at 5-3.
Nadal saved a break point at 5-4, and converted his third championship point to claim his fourth trophy at the U.S. Open.
With Nadal’s win over Medvedev, Federer, Nadal and Novak Djokovic have combined to win the last 12 Grand Slam tournaments. Medvedev was attempting to become the first male since 1949 to win the U.S. Open after trailing by two sets to none.