Novak Djokovic's classy gesture after Rafael Nadal's US Open triumph

11 Septembre, 2019, 06:24 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • World congratulates Nadal on his 19th Major title

After the No. 2 seed's 118 miles per hour serve forced an error out of Daniil Medvedev, he fell on his back and lay spread-eagled on the Arthur Ashe Stadium court.

"It's a different tour, different tennis", said Carlos Moya, a former No. 1 player who now coaches Nadal.

Medvedev was the one with the momentum, having three chances to break Nadal but could not quite get over the line, and there Nadal's experience started to show.

"I can't just think about Grand Slams".

At 33, Nadal may have the edge on Roger Federer, the 38-year-old Swiss crashing out of the US Open in the quarter-finals and failing to add to his Grand Slam titles since winning the 2018 Australian Open.

Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates with the championship trophy during the presentation ceremony after their Men's Singles final match on day fourteen of the 2019 US Open.

But the 23-year-old from Russian Federation did not go gently into the night. "I think they saw it and they appreciate it".

Matteo Berrettini described him "the greatest fighter ever in this sport". "I feel a big energy when I am playing in this Arthur Ashe Stadium". In June, the royals celebrated Rafa's French Open win writing, "Nadal Garros 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and now".

Nadal took the first two sets in comfortable fashion, 7-5 and 6-3, before the Russian sparked a comeback and made it two games a piece, winning 5-7 and 4-6 in the following sets.

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The drama was not over yet.

Medvedev, who won his first Masters title last month in Cincinnati, would have also become the first player to win the US Open from two sets behind.

Turns out, they stayed a lot longer. Medvedev reached the final of four straight hard-court tournaments to move into the top five in the rankings, with his performance at Flushing Meadows his best by far in a major.

Nadal says he wants to finish his career at No. 1 in the Grand Slam standings - ahead of Federer and Novak Djokovic, looming in third place now with 16 - but also insists he won't base his happiness on how it all shakes out in the end.

Nadal is now only one Grand Slam title behind Federer's record 20 and sits three in front of Djokovic's tally. Croatia's Marin Cilic remains the last new Major victor in men's tennis, five years ago and counting.

Quite aside from a decent fourth US Open title, of course the real impact is this title puts Nadal within just one more Slam of equalling Roger Federer's current tally of 20 Slams.

"I can say that I'm sure all of us, we're fighting our best to try to make this transition", he said.

When Medvedev trolled them during his postmatch interview that night, arms extended to encourage more boos, he seemed to assure himself a permanent place - at least for the rest of this tournament - on the fans' list of players they love to hate. "It's really tough to beat them, even to get a set from them, even every game to win is tough".

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