An emotional Rafael Nadal labelled his epic US Open final win over Daniil Medvedev a “crazy match” after clinching his 19th grand slam title.
Nadal edged Medvedev 7-5 6-3 5-7 4-6 6-4 in an extraordinary decider that lasted four hours, 49 minutes on Arthur Ashe Stadium on Sunday, moving within one of Roger Federer’s tally of 20 major titles.
The Spanish great gave up a two-sets-to-love lead and then saw Medvedev rally from 5-2 down before he closed out his fourth US Open title.
Nadal said it was an incredible encounter and he paid tribute to Medvedev, who has the most wins on the ATP Tour this year.
“This victory means a lot, especially the way the match became so difficult, so tough,” he said in an on-court interview.
“I was able to hold at the end the nerves because the nerves were so high after having the match almost under control, 5-2, 5-4, break point. It has been a crazy match. I’m just emotional.”
Nadal added: “It was an amazing final. It seemed that I had more or less the match under control, but honestly first word I have to say is to Daniil.
“His summer is just one of the best summers I ever saw in this sport since I was playing so, everybody saw why he is the number four player in the world already, only at 23 years old, so many congratulations for everything.”
LIFT IT UP
— ATP Tour (@ATP_Tour) September 9, 2019
A video was played in Arthur Ashe after the final, with each of Nadal’s grand slam titles featured in an emotional tribute.
The 33-year-old, who received multiple time violations during the final, had special thanks for the crowd in New York.
“It has been one of the most emotional nights in my tennis career,” Nadal said.
“With that video, with all the support, all of you guys have been just amazing. Normally, I take it for the last thing but today it’s going to be the first thing, thank you very, very much everybody in this stadium, [you] have been amazing energy.
“It’s a real pleasure and honour to play in front of all of you in this amazing stadium. I think there is not one stadium that is more energetic than this one so many, many thanks for everything.”