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GRAND SLAM HERO — Rafael Nadal Outshines Daniil Medvedev In The U S Open Men Finals… SEE FULL STORY !!!

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GRAND SLAM HERO -- Rafael Nadal Outshines Daniil Medvedev In The U S Open Men Finals... SEE FULL STORY !!!

Nadal breaks in fifth game of third set!

Third set: Medvedev 5-7, 3-6, 2-3 Nadal* (*denotes next server)

Nadal pushes Medvedev to 30-all, then the Russian makes a forehand error from the baseline for 30-40. It’s a break-point chance for the Spaniard and it feels like a crucial one … and he converts it when Medvedev floats a backhand into the net!

 GRAND SLAM HERO -- Rafael Nadal Outshines Daniil Medvedev In The U S Open Men Finals... SEE FULL STORY !!!

GRAND SLAM HERO — Rafael Nadal Outshines Daniil Medvedev In The U S Open Men Finals… SEE FULL STORY !!! GRAND SLAM HERO — Rafael Nadal Outshines Daniil Medvedev In The U S Open Men Finals… SEE FULL STORY !!!

Simon McMahon checks in with a prediction, via email:

Evening Bryan. Call me crazy if you want, but I’m calling this for Rafa here and now. Straight sets. I think he’s got a good chance in Paris next year too …

Third set: *Medvedev 5-7, 3-6, 2-2 Nadal (*denotes next server)

A flagging Medvedev is throwing everything he’s got at Nadal in the Spaniard’s service games, but it’s all coming right back at him. Nadal caps an exhausting 23-shot rally with a forehand volley winner for 40-15, then holds his serve with an overhead winner.

11.24pm 23:24

Third set: Medvedev 5-7, 3-6, 2-1 Nadal* (*denotes next server)

Medvedev holds at love, finishing it off with a 119mph ace out wide.

11.23pm 23:23

Third set: *Medvedev 5-7, 3-6, 1-1 Nadal (*denotes next server)

Nadal cruises to another hold to keep step early in the third. That first-serve percentage continues to improve: it’s up to 56% now after starting in the 35% range.

11.17pm 23:17

Third set: Medvedev 5-7, 3-6, 1-0 Nadal* (*denotes next server)

Medvedev holds at 15 to open the third set, crunching a 121mph ace along the way.

 GRAND SLAM HERO -- Rafael Nadal Outshines Daniil Medvedev In The U S Open Men Finals... SEE FULL STORY !!!

GRAND SLAM HERO — Rafael Nadal Outshines Daniil Medvedev In The U S Open Men Finals… SEE FULL STORY !!!

11.09pm 23:09
Nadal wins second set, 6-3!

Second set: Medvedev 5-7, 3-6 Nadal

Nadal opens with a forehand winner but Medvedev responds with two quick points for 15-30. Nadal then wins an easy point off his first serve followed by a wild miss by Medvedev for set point … and he converts with a sharply angled forehand into the corner that Medvedev can’t return into the court.

Nadal wins the second after 48 minutes and is one set from a fourth US Open title and 19th overall major championship.

11.04pm 23:04

Second set: Medvedev 5-7, 3-5 Nadal* (*denotes next server)

It’s something of a must-hold for Medvedev, whose career record in five-set matches is 0-4. And he delivers with his first love hold of the afternoon for 3-5. Now can he break Nadal’s serve?

11.01pm 23:01

Second set: *Medvedev 5-7, 2-5 Nadal (*denotes next server)

Nadal backs up the break convincingly, sealing the hold at 15 when Medvedev makes his 14th unforced error off the backhand. The Russian will serve to stay in the second set after the change of ends.

10.57pm 22:57

Nadal breaks in sixth game of second set!

Second set: Medvedev 5-7, 2-4 Nadal* (*denotes next server)

Medvedev falls behind love-15 then 15-30. Then a 26-stroke rally breaks out which finally ends when Nadal forces an error with a passing backhand. Two break points for the Spaniard but he needs only one, winning quick point off the forehand for the break of serve!

10.51pm 22:51

Second set: *Medvedev 5-7, 2-3 Nadal (*denotes next server)

Nadal holds at 15. Two more unforced errors from the Medvedev backhand, who’s made 13 on that side.

10.46pm 22:46

Second set: Medvedev 5-7, 2-2 Nadal* (*denotes next server)

Big trouble for Medvedev as he makes his 22nd, 23rd and 24th unforced errors in quick succession to fall behind love-40. He saves the first with a winner off a quick net approach, then another with a forehand winner to cap a 17-stroke baseline rally, then the third with a backhand winner from the baseline.

 GRAND SLAM HERO -- Rafael Nadal Outshines Daniil Medvedev In The U S Open Men Finals... SEE FULL STORY !!!

GRAND SLAM HERO — Rafael Nadal Outshines Daniil Medvedev In The U S Open Men Finals… SEE FULL STORY !!!

Another misfire from the baseline gives Nadal a fourth break point but Medvedev saves that too with an overhead that Nadal can’t return in play. From there Medvedev is able to spring the escape with a couple of quick points.

10.39pm 22:39

Second set: *Medvedev 5-7, 1-2 Nadal (*denotes next server)

Nadal holds at 30. He’s got that first-serve percentage up to 54% on the day after an anemic start.

10.35pm 22:35

Second set: Medvedev 5-7, 1-1 Nadal* (*denotes next server)

Medvedev comes to net only to get passed by a Nadal backhand, but he answers with four quick points for a drama-free hold.

10.30pm 22:30

Second set: *Medvedev 5-7, 0-1 Nadal (*denotes next server)

A promising chance for Medvedev to get right back into it as he wins the first two points of the second set on Nadal’s serve. The Spaniard pulls back for 30-all but Medvedev pounds a forehand winner for 30-40 and a break-point opportunity.

Nadal saves it when Medvedev misses a short backhand, already his 11th unforced error off that side today. From there Nadal is able to hold, capping it with a 123mph service winner down the middle.

10.23pm 22:23
Nadal wins first set, 7-5!

Nadal breaks in 12th game of first set!

First set: Medvedev 5-7 Nadal

Medvedev falls behind love-15 and 15-30, then 15-40 when Nadal caps an 18-stroke rally with a forehand winner. Two sets points on Medvedev’s serve.

The Russian saves the first when Nadal makes another unforced error off the backhand at the end of a 19-shot exchange, but Medvedev misses on a volley when Nadal tries a lob winner and he’s broken him to take the first set after 62 minutes!

10.16pm 22:16

First set: *Medvedev 5-6 Nadal (*denotes next server)

Nadal races ahead 30-love and he’s now won 14 straight points on his serve. Medvedev is able to push it to 40-30 but Nadal holds with a winner at the net and now the Russian will serve to stay in the first set.

10.11pm 22:11

First set: Medvedev 5-5 Nadal* (*denotes next server)

Medvedev is pushed every step of the way during an eight-minute, 14-point service game before Nadal finally blinks with a netted forehand from the baseline.

Medvedev playing big with 14 winners to 18 unforced errors (compared to six winners and eight unforced errors for Nadal). We’re at 5-all in the opener as the clock drifts toward the hour mark.

10.01pm 22:01

First set: *Medvedev 4-5 Nadal (*denotes next server)

Nadal breezes through another love hold, capping it with a 108mph ace out wide. He’s won 12 straight points on his serve since getting broken. And he’s doing it with a low first-serve percentage (46%).

9.59pm 21:59

First set: Medvedev 4-4 Nadal* (*denotes next server)

Medvedev makes his 10th, 11th and 12th unforced errors to fall behind love-15 then 15-40. Two break-point chances for Nadal. Medvedev saves the first with a forehand volley winner, then the second with a winner off a serve and volley.

Medvedev gets to game point with another volley winner but Nadal pulls one back for another deuce. Now Medvedev makes his second double fault of the day to go break point down again, but Medvedev saves it with a backhand winner (upheld by a challenge) followed by two quick points for the hold.

Medvedev playing more assertively over the last few minutes: he hit five winners in that last game after only three in the first seven games. He needs to keep that up because counter-punching won’t do it.

Rafael Nadal celebrates winning a game.
Rafael Nadal celebrates winning a game. Photograph: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

Updated at 10.20pm BST

9.52pm 21:52

First set: *Medvedev 3-4 Nadal (*denotes next server)

Medvedev falls behind love-15 on a double fault which Nadal must challenge to confirm, but the Russian rattles off four quick points for the hold.

9.47pm 21:47

First set: Medvedev 3-3 Nadal* (*denotes next server)

Medvedev falls behind love-15 on a double fault which Nadal must challenge to confirm, but the Russian rattles off four quick points for the hold.

9.44pm 21:44

First set: *Medvedev 2-3 Nadal (*denotes next server)

Nadal consolidates in convincing fashion with the love hold. We’re even steven in the opening. Neither man playing his best tennis so far, but you can’t help but feel Medvedev may have let an opportunity slip in giving back that break so fast when Nadal was a bit out of sorts.

9.42pm 21:42

Nadal breaks in fourth game of first set!

First set: Medvedev 2-2 Nadal* (*denotes next server)

Nadal is watching no time in trying to get back on level terms, taking the ball early on a couple of points to put Medvedev behind love-30. Medvedev gets it to 30-all, but Nadal rips a forehand winner to set up break point and then converts with a backhand from the baseline that Medvedev can’t return.

9.38pm 21:38

Medvedev breaks in third game of first set!

First set: *Medvedev 2-1 Nadal (*denotes next server)

Medvedev hits a forehand winner to get into Nadal’s service game at love-15. The Spaniard wins the next two points on gruelling rallies of 21 and 17 shots, but Medvedev hits winners on the next two points to set up another break-point chance.

This time he converts when Nadal misses badly on forehand from the baseline early in the point. First blood to the young Russian as we head into the changeover. A key early statistic is Nadal’s struggle on his serve: so far he’s gotten just 5-of-14 first serves in (36%).

9.38pm 21:38

First set: Medvedev 1-1 Nadal* (*denotes next server)
Medvedev holds at 30 in his opening service game, anchored by a big first serve that he’s getting in early.

9.25pm 21:25

First set: *Medvedev 0-1 Nadal (*denotes next server)

Big buzz on Ashe as Nadal steps to the baseline to serve. Medvedev standing so far back awaiting the return, nearly in the first row. Nadal wins the first point when Medvedev makes an unforced error on a backhand from the baseline, then another with a goregeous forehand winner from around the netpost.

But Medvedev pushes it to 30-all when Nadal double-faults then misfires on a baseline forehand. Next Medvedev gets the best of his opponent with a wicked backhand at the end of a 16-stroke rally and the Russian will have an early break-point opportunity.

Nadal is given a warning for a time violation – next time it will be a fault – then smashes a service winner for deuce. Nadal then rattles off two quick points for the opening hold.

 GRAND SLAM HERO -- Rafael Nadal Outshines Daniil Medvedev In The U S Open Men Finals... SEE FULL STORY !!!

GRAND SLAM HERO — Rafael Nadal Outshines Daniil Medvedev In The U S Open Men Finals… SEE FULL STORY !!!

9.12pm 21:12

The players have emerged from the tunnel! First comes Medvedev, who walks out to a smattering of boos but lots of cheers from the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd. Then it’s Nadal, the crowd favorite who is greeted by roaring applause. Nadal wins the toss and elects to serve. Now they’re going through the warm-ups. We should be under way in the next few minutes.

8.52pm 20:52
Tale of the tape

Here’s a look at how today’s finalists match up. Nadal won the only previous meeting between the pair in the Montreal final on 11 August, strolling to a 6-0, 6-3 victory.

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