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Medvedev drawing on the positives after losing classic US Open final to Nadal - 'All this summer was amazing for me'

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 9 Sep 2019
  • Medvedev was buoyant post-match despite losing a heartbreaking US Open final in five sets to Nadal
  • The Russian rises to No. 4 in the world after making his first major final
Daniil Medvedev (PA Images)

Daniil Medvedev was upbeat despite falling just short of an extraordinary comeback against Rafael Nadal in the U.S. Open final on Sunday night.

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Medvedev was staring down the barrel of a straight sets defeat in his first Grand Slam final as he trailed Nadal by two sets and a break in the third, but the Russian staged a phenomenal comeback to win the next two sets and force a fifth set, sending the crowd inside Arthur Ashe Stadium into rapturous celebrations.

Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev after match point (PA Images)
With all the momentum and crowd behind him as Nadal sensationally started to receive boos as he repeatedly pushed the time clock boundaries and stopped Medvedev during his service motion because of the noise, it appeared as if the 23-year-old could really pull of a miraculous fightback. However, Nadal has only lost one Grand Slam match in his career when winning the first two sets, and the Spaniard drew on all of his experience to win the significant points in the decider, saving two break points in his first service game before eventually closing out the match by a 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4 scoreline in four hours and 49 minutes.

It was a crushing blow for Medvedev, who had done exceptionally well to get himself into a winning position, but after having some time to reflect, the Russian was delighted with his performance - not just in the final, but for the entire U.S. Open series throughout the summer.

"I definitely will remember tonight," Medvedev said in his post-match press conference. "I'm sure even talking about Rafa's 19 Grand Slams, I'm sure he remembers his first final, even though he won it and I lost it. 
“It was an amazing match. It's an amazing story. All this summer is amazing for me. I will remember every moment of it. I have a really good memory if we talk about tennis. I'll definitely remember it even when I'm 70 years old."

Daniil Medvedev thanks the crowd (PA Images)
Medvedev was ranked outside of the top 60 just before the U.S. Open last year, but he has compiled a truly stellar season in 2019 - and after his exploits over the last month, he will be ranked No. 4 in the world in the new ATP rankings, behind only Novak Djokovic, Nadal and Roger Federer.

Launching his U.S. Open Series with runner-up finishes at the ATP 500 level Citi Open in Washington and the Masters 1000 event in Canada, Medvedev beat Djokovic on the way to his first Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati and backed it up with a run to his maiden Grand Slam final in New York, overcoming various hurdles in order to contest Sunday’s final.

Medvedev was cramping badly in his second round win over Hugo Dellien and was in danger of elimination in the third round against Feliciano Lopez - the same match where he was fined $19,000 for several indiscretions and the moment the Flushing Meadows crowd turned against him, booing him during the match and his post-match interview.

However, Medvedev gradually won the crowd back over with a combination of his resilience and on-court talent, beating Stan Wawrinka and Grigor Dimitrov before putting on a classic final for the ages with Nadal.

“I have to give myself credit for these two weeks,” he said. “Before the tournament, my best result in a slam was fourth round [2019 Australian Open]. I had some physical problems, sometimes I didn’t play as good as I wanted, but I managed to make the final and give a huge fight to one of the best players in the history of the sport.
“I hope I grew a lot doing these things, but I need to continue and I need to be better.”

Medvedev has already secured his spot at the elite season-ending ATP Finals in London, reserved for the year’s best eight players.

The 23-year-old is next scheduled to play the ATP 500 China Open in Beijing alongside the likes of Andy Murray, Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas. The tournament begins on September 23.


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Medvedev drawing on the positives after losing classic US Open final to Nadal - "All this summer was amazing for me"

Daniil Medvedev was upbeat despite falling just short of an extraordinary comeback against Rafael Nadal in the U.S. Open final on Sunday night.

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