Rafael Nadal Outlasts Magnificent Medvedev In Thriller To Win US Open - UBITENNIS
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Rafael Nadal Outlasts Magnificent Medvedev In Thriller To Win US Open

The former world No.1 required almost five hours to clinch his 19th grand slam title.

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Rafael Nadal withstood an almighty scare from fifth seed Daniil Medvedev to win his fourth US Open trophy.

 

The 33-year-old saw a two-set lead come and go before holding his nerve to prevail 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4, in a thriller that consisted of 341 points being played. Engaging in some gut-busting baseline exchanges against one of the rising stars of the game. Medvedev, who is 10 years younger than Nadal, was contesting his fourth final in a row on the tour after Washington, Canada and Cincinnati. Something that had only previously been achieved by Ivan Lendl (1982) and Andre Agassi (1995). Nevertheless, it was the king of clay that narrowly came out on top with the help of 75 winners to 57 unforced errors.

“It was an amazing final. It seemed like I had the match more or less under control.” Said Nadal.
“The first words I have to say is to Daniil. His summer is one of the best summer’s I have seen (on the tour) in my career.’
“Tonight everybody has seen why he is the number four player (as of Monday) in the world.”

Coming into the match Nadal had only been broken six times in the entire tournament. However, a dramatic start to the final saw the Spaniard receive a penalty for a time violation in his first game before he got broken in the third. Prompting him to criticize the umpire by describing the penalty as ‘a bit too much.’ Despite the minor controversy, Nadal managed to regain his footing in the opener. Eventually breaking back to level 2-2 before winning 16 consecutive points behind his serve. Meanwhile, a heavy-hitting Medvedev refused to be intimidated in his maiden grand slam final.  Continuing to weather the storm, Nadal edged his way to the 7-5 lead. Doing so with the help of a lob which drew an error from the Russian.

In front Nadal continued to wear down his weary opponent, who had taping on both his leg and arm. Medvedev has enjoyed a stellar summer where he has played 22 matches over a six-week period, winning 20 of those. In comparison Nadal had played 11 matches and won them all. Continuing to engage in some lengthy baseline rallies, the Spaniard got his next breakthrough midway through the second set. A deep return of his rival’s serve forced him to hit the ball into the net on break point. Elevating the 33-year-old to a 4-2 lead.  Continuing to dictate proceedings, it wasn’t long before the two-set lead was his. Clinching it at the expense of two consecutive Medvedev forehand shots the drifted beyond the baseline.

The fight back

It looked as if Nadal would seal victory with ease after claiming another break in the third frame. However, what he didn’t expect was an extraordinary comeback from Medvedev. The Russian somehow managed to conjure up his best form with the help of numerous serves and volleying. In sets three and four Medvedev’s audacious play draw praise from the crowd, which viewed him as a villain earlier in the tournament. In both of those sets, he broke at the business end.

“To be honest, in my mind, I was already thinking about what to say in my speech. It was going to be soon in 20 minutes. Losing in three sets my first final, trying to give a fight, but not really.” Medvedev recalled.
“I had to fight for every ball and see how it goes. It (the match) went further, but unfortunately it didn’t go my way.”

Heading into the decider, the encounter resembled a boxing match with each player suffering their own blows. Still the warrior-like fighting from both men continued as Medvedev sought treatment for his right leg. It was Nadal, who would get the first blow after breaking twice en route to a 4-2 lead. However, Medvedev still refused to buckle down. Saving two match points to turn his 2-5 deficit to 4-5. Still, Nadal’s early attack was just enough to see him over the finish line. On his third attempt, he claimed the memorable victory with a serve down the line which was returned out across the court.

In the aftermath of the marathon encounter, tears started to flow from the eyes of the Spaniard as the stadium played a video of his greatest achievements in the sport. It resembled the retirement presentation Andy Murray had at the Australian Open, but for Nadal it was not a goodbye.

“It has been one of the most emotional nights of my career with the video, the support (of the crowd) – amazing.” Nadal reflected.
“This victory means a lot, especially with the way how the match became so difficult and tough. The nerves were so high after having the match almost under control. It was a crazy match.”

Winning multiple grand slam titles within the same season for the fifth time in his career, Nadal is now knocking on the door of Roger Federer’s all-time grand slam singles record of 20. He is currently at 19.

The clash between Nadal and Medvedev lasted for four hours and 49 minutes. Making it the third longest final in US Open history since records began in 1980.

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Auger Aliassime overcomes slow start to beat Seppi in Washington

The Canadian looked down and out early in the match but bounced back to avenge a loss he suffered at the French Open in June.

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Second seed Felix Auger Aliassime survived a huge scare in his opening match at the Citi Open in Washington.

The Canadian was on the verge of being upset by the Italian Andreas Seppi but battled back to beat him 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 in one hour and 59 minutes. Blasting a total of 25 winners and nine aces in the win.

 

“In my mind, I wanted to find a way to come back. To get that early break in the second really helped me a lot and I think I served a little bit better and I put more volume and height on my shot,” said Auger-Aliassime. “I was more patient and in the first set I was missing too quickly in the rallies so digging deep physically and mentally allowed me to come back nicely in the match and to finish strong in the third set. I am happy with the way things turned around for me today”.

It was the world number 88 with the better start to the match and after both players held their opening service games he had two chances to get the early break and took a 2-1 lead. After consolidating the break, the Italian set up another breakpoint with a stunning forehand winner, broke again for a 4-1 lead, and served out the first set.

Auger-Aliassime was keen on getting back into the match and wanted to avoid a second straight upset loss to the Italian. After holding serve in the first game of the second set he had two chances to take an early lead and broke for the 2-0 lead with a forehand up the line of his very own on breakpoint. That was enough for him to serve out the second set and send the match into a decisive third set to decide the winner.

It was the Canadian who repeated what he did in the second set holding the opening service game and breaking Seppi’s serve with a sublime passing shot. The Italian responded the next game by breaking right back but failed to consolidate the break as the world number 15 broke again with his powerful backhand winner.

At 5-2, the Auger-Aliassime found himself at match point and it took him five attempts before being able to convert and seal the match. Avenging a loss he suffered at Roland Garros.

After the match in his post-match press conference, the Canadian was asked if he had the loss to Seppi at the French Open in the back of his mind during the match.

” In a way yes of course because we played once and he beat me and as a player, you never want to go down twice in a row against a player but it happens but in my case, I really wanted to find a way to win that match and get revenge just for myself to try and get the win”. he said.

Auger Aliassime will now face the winner of the second-round match between Jenson Brooksby or Frances Tiafoe in the third round.

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Vasek Pospisil survives scare at Citi Open

The Canadian battled back from a set down in what was a tricky opening encounter.

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Vasek Pospisil was pushed to limits by qualifier Emilio Gomez in his opening match at the Citi Open.

The Canadian required three sets to beat the Ecuadorian qualifier 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 after two hours and 11 minutes of play. He hit a total of 10 aces en route to the second round.

 

” It’s always good to get through a tough one and I felt dialed in during the second set,” said Pospisil. “I was a little bit distracted during the first set but I am glad to get match play and getting the win is important so I am happy I got it done”.

The first three games of the opener went on serve and at 2-1 the Canadian had three chances to take an early break but the world number 165 saved all three and held serve. At 3-3, Pospisil played a poor service game and Gomez took full advantage by breaking him at love. That one break of serve was enough for him to serve out the first set.

The Canadian was determined to stay alive in the second and broke the Ecuadorian early to take a 2-0 lead and managed to turn it into a double break for a commanding 4-0 lead. Gomez got one of the breaks back but it wasn’t enough as the world number 61 would serve out the second set to force a decider.

The third set started with three breaks of serve but it was the Canadian that was finally able to hold serve and consolidate a break. That break was enough for him to serve out the match and complete the comeback.

Pospisil will next face the young American Sebastien Korda in the third round who is the 12th seed this week in the American capital.

” It’s going to be a tough one because he is playing some great tennis this year and he is an up and comer and a great player,” he said of Korda. “I will have to play really well to win that one because he is a dangerous player so I will have to serve well and return well”.

Other results

It was a busy day one at the Citi Open being held at Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC with some thrilling matches. Kei Nishikori beat Sam Querrey in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 and Marcus Giron pulled a three-set comeback against Ilya Marchenko 4-6, 6-4, 7-6.

In the battle of the Belorussians, Ilya Ivashka beat Egor Gerasimov in straight sets 7-5, 6-4. Meanwhile, Jenson Brooksby avenged a loss to the South African Kevin Anderson by beating him in straight sets 7-5, 6-3.

Andreas Seppi needed three sets to dispatch Yasutka Uchiyama of Japan 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, Ricardas Berankis beat the American qualifier Mitchell Kreuger in straight sets 7-6, 6-2, and Daniel Elahi Galan beat another American Tommy Paul in straight sets 6-4, 6-3.

Finally, in the last match of the day an American favourite, Jack Sock advanced to round two after his Japanese opponent Yoshito Nishioka was forced to retire due to injury during their match.

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John Isner Wins 16th ATP Title In Atlanta

The 6ft 10 American got revenge on his American opponent for the loss he suffered last week in Los Cabos.

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John Isner has continued his love affair with the Atlanta Open by ousting Brandon Nakashima to win the tournament for a record sixth time.

 

The sixth seed beat the American teenager 7-6, 7-5 in one hour and 57 minutes. Firing a total of 21 aces and winning 81% of his first-serve points en route to the victory.

“I think if you count the last two weeks playing singles and doubles I played 12 matches in about 10 or 11 days so I have played a lot which is exactly what I need,” Isner said following his win. “Hopefully I can take this and go forward and build some momentum for tournaments ahead.’
This tournament has meant everything to my career it’s amazing”. He added.

The first set was extremely tight and neither player gave an inch in their respective service games. The opener was decided by a tiebreaker which Isner is accustomed to. Whilst the first set was tight, the tiebreaker was an even tighter affair Isner squeezing out a 10-8 win to take the first set 7-6.

Again the second set was competitive and again neither player got an edge on their return game. It was only at 5-4 that the Dallas, Texas native found himself at triple match point but the world number 115 saved all three.

Nakashima would save a fourth before holding serve and at 6-5, the world number 35 earned a fifth match point. That’s where he closed out the match and sealed the win and the title.

After the match, Isner was asked about his history of playing numerous tiebreakers throughout his career.

” I play a lot of those and it’s a situation I am comfortable in since I have been on tour forever,” he explained. “Honestly I think today (Sunday) I was just a little bit luckier and that’s what It really came down to. It’s amazing to be out here again playing on a Sunday and it was awesome”.

Isner confirmed that he will not be making the trip to Washington, DC for the Citi Open and instead he will take a week off after playing back-to-back tournaments in Los Cabos and Atlanta. He is next scheduled to be in Toronto for the National Bank Open.

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