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Nadal defies inspired Medvedev in five-set epic to win U.S. Open

USA Today Sports/Reuters

Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts after winning a point against Daniil Medvedev of Russia in the men’s U.S. Open final in New York on Sunday.

ReutersNEW YORK (Reuters) — Rafa Nadal battled past an inspired Daniil Medvedev 7-5 6-3 5-7 4-6 6-4 in a thrilling final to claim his fourth U.S. Open crown on Sunday, moving within one Grand Slam title of matching his great rival Roger Federer’s all-time record.

Already the King of Clay, the Spaniard has been a master of the Flushing Meadows hardcourts this New York fortnight but he had to dig mighty deep to beat the Russian and bring his Grand Slam career tally to 19, just one behind Swiss Federer.

The 33-year-old lefthander became the second oldest U.S. Open champion in the professional era behind Australian Ken Rosewall, who was 35 when he lifted the title in 1970.

While the women have served up four different Grand Slam winners this season, the old guard of Nadal, Federer and Novak Djokovic continue to rule the men’s game with the “Big Three” having combined to win the last 12 majors.

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