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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Anett Kontaveit beats Petra Martic to reach the final in Palermo

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World number 22 Anett Kontaveit from Estonia upset number 1 seed Petra Martic 6-2 6-4 to reach the final at the Ladies Open in Palermo. 

 

Martic has scored her third win in her seven matches against top 20 players after beating Belinda Bencic and Elina Svitolina. 

Kontaveit avenged her defeat against Martic in their only previous match played in Dubai last February before the lockdown. 

Kontaveit had to fight to hold her serve in the first game of the opening set at deuce and took control of the match by breaking in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead. 

Martic won only 56% on her first serve in the opening set. Kontaveit came back from 0-30 down to hold serve in the seventh game before breaking for the second time in the eighth game to win the first set 6-2. 

Martic earned an early break in the first game of the second set at deuce, but Kontaveit broke straight back to draw level to 1-1. The Estonian player saved a break point before holding serve to take a 2-1 lead. Kontaveit saved five of the six break points she faced. Kontaveit broke for the second time in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead. Martic held serve at 2-5 down before breaking serve at 15 in the ninth game to claw her way back to 4-5. The Croatian player received a medical time-out before Kontaveit for the third time in the tenth game at love to close out the second set 6-4. 

Kontaveit will chase her second title in tomorrow’s final three years after winning in S’Hertogenbosch in 2017.

“I felt like I played a very good match today. I was quite aggressive, consistent, and I served especially well in the first set. It got a bit close in the end, but I played a good game at 5-4 and I am happy to be in the final”, said Kontaveit. 

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Petra Martic comes back from one set down to beat Ludmila Samsonova in Palermo

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Top seed Petra Martic from Croatia came back from one set down to beat qualifier and world number 117  Ludmila Samsonova 5-7 6-4 6-2. 

 

Martic saved six break points in the 10th game of the opening set, but Samsonova converted her third break point in the 12th game to win the first set 7-5. 

Martic earned an early break in the first game to open up a 2-0 lead. Samsonova broke back at love in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Martic broke for the second time in the ninth game to win the second set 6-4. The Croatian player broke twice in the third and seventh games to close out the third set 6-2. 

Martic will face world number 50 Aliaksandra Sasnovich from Belarus in the quarter finals. Sasnovich came through the qualifying round before beating Jasmine Paolini in straight sets. 

Former top 30 Camila Giorgi rallied from losing the first set to beat Slovenian teenager Kaja Juvan 3-6 6-2 6-4 after 2 hours reaching her second WTA quarter final of the season. Before the outbreak of the Covid-19 outbreak Giorgi reached the top 8 in Lyon. Juvan qualified for the Main Draw at the Australian Open and beat five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams in three sets at the Abierto Mexicano in Acapulco. 

Giorgi started with an early break at deuce at the start of the first set and opened a 2-0 lead. Juvan broke twice to take a 4-3 lead. Giorgi dropped serve for the third time after a double fault on the set point. 

Giorgi came back from 1-2 down by winning five consecutive games with two consecutive breaks in the fifth and seventh games. 

Giorgi broke twice to race out to a 3-0 lead at the start of the third set. Juvan pulled one break back at love in the fourth game but Giorgi got another break to race out to a 5-1 lead. Juvan broke at 30, when Giorgi was serving for the match at 5-2. The Italian player earned two match points and sealed the win on her second chance. 

“I think I was more solid in playing my game. I was moving more forward, so it was much for me. At the start of the match, I was making too many tactical mistakes because I was trying to finish points for no reason. I started to adopt better tactics in the second set and that’s when things started working for me”, said Giorgi. 

Number 4 seed Anett Kontaveit from Estonia came back from one set down to beat Laura Siegemund 3-6 6-2 6-2 after 2 hours and 20 minutes booking her spot in the quarter finals at the Palermo Ladies Open. 

The Estonian player has reached her third quarter final this year after the Australian Open and Dubai. 

Kontaveit set up a quarter final against Elisabetta Cocciaretto, who became the youngest Italian player to reach the quarter final of a tournament since Sara Errani in 2006. 

“I am quite happy about the way I was handling close situations, playing the close games and turning the close games around. I thought I actually handled that sort of pressure, that I didn’t think I would be used to, quite well”, said Kontaveit. 

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Andrea Gaudenzi recognizes the contribution of the Italian Tennis Federation in staging the Internazionali d’Italia

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ATP President and former Italian tennis player Andrea Gaudenzi spoke in an interview to Italian TV channel Supertennis about staging the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome before the French Open and recognised the contribution of the Italian tennis Federation (FIT) in staging the tournament in the Italian capital. 

 

The Rome ATP Masters 1000 and WTA Premier 5 tournaments will be held from 20th to 27th September one week before the French Open (27th September to 11th October). 

“We are grateful to everyone, holding an event this year is difficult from an organizational and financial point of view. We thank the Italian Federation and those who organize the Challengers. Italy is making a great contribution. I think the players are waiting for the BNL Internazionali d’Italia. The Foro Italico is among the most beautiful venues in the world. Rome is splendid in September”, said Gaudenzi. 

During his tennis career Gaudenzi scored wins over Roger Federer in Rome 2002, Pete Sampras in the first round of the 2002 French Open, Jim Courier in the 1994 US Open, Goran Ivanisevic, Thomas Muster, Michael Stich and Yevgeny Kafelnikov. Gaudenzi claimed three ATP titles in Casablanca in 1998, St. Poelten and Bastad in 2002. He graduated in law at the Bologna University and obtained a MBA with Honours at IUM.

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