Nadal chases 19th Grand Slam in US Open final against Medvedev

Nadal and Medvedev

US Open 2019 men’s final
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Date: 8 Sep Time: 21:00 BST
Coverage: Live text and BBC Radio 5 Live commentary on the BBC Sport website and app. Click here for Live Guide.

Rafael Nadal will move within one of Roger Federer’s haul of 20 Grand Slam titles if he beats first-time major finalist Daniil Medvedev in Sunday’s US Open showpiece.

Second seed Nadal, 33, is the favourite to win his fourth title in New York.

Russian fifth seed Medvedev, 23, has lost just two of his past 22 matches, including a defeat by Nadal in August’s Rogers Cup final.

“I would love to be the one who wins more Grand Slams,” Spaniard Nadal said.

But he added: “I still sleep very well without being the one who has more Grand Slams.”

Medvedev, the first Russian man to compete in a Grand Slam final since Marat Safin at the 2005 Australian Open, is aiming to break the grip of Nadal, Federer and Serbian world number one Novak Djokovic on the majors.

The ‘big three’ have won each of the past 11 Grand Slam titles, with Stan Wawrinka’s victory here in 2016 making the Swiss the last man outside the illustrious trio to claim one of the sport’s biggest prizes.

He will face Nadal for the second time in less than a month after the world number two won 6-3 6-0 in Montreal.

“It’s great that I have this experience playing Rafa in the final of a Masters. I know what to expect. I know how to prepare for it,” Medvedev said.

Nadal and Medvedev

‘This is just one more chance to catch Roger’

Nadal, who won his 18th Grand Slam with a 12th title at Roland Garros in June, was already considered one of the favourites in New York from the start of tournament, along with Djokovic and Federer.

That has been a familiar pattern over the past decade such has been the trio’s dominance, which shows no signs of changing despite all three men entering their 30s.

The past 11 Grand Slams have been won by Nadal, 32-year-old Djokovic or 38-year-old Federer.

But the departure of 2018 champion Djokovic, who retired from his last-16 match against Stan Wawrinka with a shoulder injury, and Federer’s quarter-final exit to Bulgarian world number 78 Dimitrov, has given the opportunity for Nadal to make a serious move in the race to be considered the greatest player of all time.

If Nadal lifts his fourth title at Flushing Meadows, he will move within one of Federer’s tally for the first time.

“I always say the same: we still playing. Here we are,” said Nadal, who will be competing in his third Grand Slam final this year and also reached the Wimbledon semi-finals.

“When I arrived here, my goal was to produce a chance to compete for the big thing again. Here I am.

“I have given myself another chance, as I did in Wimbledon, as I did in Australia, as I did in Roland Garros. That’s the personal satisfaction. That’s the personal happiness.

“I am happy about my career. I am very happy about what I’m doing. I’m going to keep working hard to try to produce chances.

“Sunday is just one more chance, that’s all.

“If I am able to win on Sunday, it will be amazing. If I lose, I hope to keep having chances in the future to add things.”



Medvedev doesn’t want ‘amazing’ summer to end badly

Medvedev came into the final Grand Slam of the season as the form player on the ATP Tour after an impressive build-up on the North American hard courts.

The Russian, who broke in the world’s top 10 for the first time in July, lost to Australian Nick Kyrgios and Nadal in the Washington and Montreal finals before going one better by beating Belgian David Goffin in the Cincinnati final.

And he has continued that form to become only the third man to reach all four finals in the same season during the Open era.

“This summer has been so fast and long at the same time,” Medvedev said.

“Long because I’ve played so many matches. At the same time so fast because I haven’t had any moment to just sit down and look back and say I’ve done amazing things.

“Hopefully I will have some time after Sunday. It’s going to be the last match in the United States this summer.

“Of course, deep inside of me, I understand that what I’ve done these four weeks is amazing, even comparing to what I’ve done before.

“I don’t want to stop. I will always work to be better. I will try to do my best every day.”

Despite his success, some of Medvedev’s actions over the past two weeks have not endeared him to the New York crowd, goading them with his provocative post-match celebrations and interviews.

Since being booed off court after his third-round and fourth-round wins, Medvedev has looked to shake off the role of pantomime villain and apologised for his behaviour, which has included angrily snatching towels from ball people and curtly ‘thanking’ the American fans for jeering him.

“I can only say I’m a really calm person in life. I actually have no idea why the demons go out when I play tennis,” he said.

“Every time I do something wrong on the court, I’m sitting with myself, thinking ‘I’m not like this in normal life. Why does it happen? I don’t want it to happen like this’.

“So I have been working a lot on it, and I have improved a lot. Sometimes it still happens.

“But, talking about normal life, to make me angry you need to do something crazy for one week in a row.

“You need to, I don’t know, come to my hotel, knock on my door at 6am in the morning for seven days in a row. Then I’m going to be maybe mad a little bit. If not, I’m really calm.”

Daniil Medvedev

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