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Rafael Nadal vs Daniil Medvedev - US Open - Final - Preview and Prediction

We are all set for the Men's singles final of the US Open 2019 tonight. It is a battle between two consistent players, Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev. 

Nadal would be aiming for his 19th Grand Slam and a 4th US Open title. Medvedev would look to claim his first. 

A clash of generations is assured as a 33-year old Nadal looking to continue the Big 3 domination will face a 23-year old Medvedev who is aiming to prove that the Next-Gen can also win slams.

World Number 2 Nadal has played his best tennis in Grand Slams this season, reaching the finals of the Australian Open, clinching a record 12th French Open and making a semifinal finish in the Wimbledon. 

In the US Open so far, Nadal has played consistent tennis demonstrating his fighting spirit to ensure that he does not drag matches. He started brightly trouncing the danger man John Millman in straight sets in the first round. 

Nadal got crucial rest as Thanasi Kokkinakis gave a walkover to him in the next match. He met the talented Hyeon Chung in the third round. Chung had overcome a two-set deficit against Nadal's compatriot  Fernando Verdasco and was looking in good touch. 

But Nadal was in no mood for an upset as won again in straight sets. The 3-time US Open champion set up a mouthwatering clash with the 2014 champion Marin Cilic in the fourth round. 

Nadal won in four sets after a minor second set blip. His next two opponents, Diego Schwartzman and Matteo Berrettini did not work him too much in the quarterfinals and semifinals respectively. 

Nadal threw away big leads against Schwartzman but dug deep to win in straight sets. Berrettini could not convert two set points as unforced errors crippled his game in the third set after playing so well in the first two sets.

On the other hand, Medvedev has ticked all the right boxes by winning a record 50 matches in a stunning season. The Marathon Man has reached four hard-court finals (Washington Open, Rogers Cup, Cincinnati Open and US Open) in the last four weeks. 

His unorthodox game makes it very difficult to predict for the opponents as he switches from defence to offence suddenly. Medvedev loves pressure as he has overcome multiple breakpoints and set points with his strong serve in a calm manner.

Medvedev kick-started his campaign outlasting Indian Prajnesh Gunneswaran in straight sets. The next three clashes in rounds two, three and four needed a lot of effort from the Russian as he overcame Hugo Dellien, Feliciano Lopez, and Dominik Koepfer all in four sets each. 

That was also the time when Medvedev acquired the villain image when he used swear words, misbehaved with the ball boy and was fined $9000 for his outburst in the third-round match against Lopez. Medvedev was booed during the match.

The American crowd has appreciated him though for his terrific tennis in the recent two matches in the quarterfinals and semis where he beat the in-form players Stanislas Wawrinka (who beat Novak Djokovic earlier) and Grigor Dimitrov (who beat Roger Federer earlier). 

Medvedev has been playing like a machine this year with his performances walking the talk and propelling him to a career-high rank of 5. Defeating the big players on the tour has given much-needed confidence for the Russian.

A statistical comparison of Nadal and Medvedev ahead of their final

Player NameRafael NadalDaniil Medvedev
Aces3088
Double Faults1443
Sets Played1622
Sets Lost14
Breakpoint Conversion27/6431/68
Tiebreaks Won15
Tiebreaks Lost00
Unforced Errors140226

Nadal has the experience of playing in four US Open finals before while Medvedev is the man to beat due to his fantastic form this season. Nadal will look to continue his glory while Medvedev will look to create history.

“I will not say I am a good person or a bad person, I  can only say that I am a calm person in life and I  have no idea why the demons go out when I play tennis", said Medvedev indicating his mindset ahead of the biggest match of his life.

A win for Nadal would take him to 19 slams and he will go closer to Federer's record of 20 slams. The big 3, Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic have won the last 11 grand slams from the start of 2017 and Nadal would look to keep that stranglehold intact.

"I would love to be the one who achieves more Grand Slams, but I still sleep very well without being the one, I am happy about my career". 

"I would love to be the one to have more, yes, but you cannot be all day frustrated or all day thinking about what’s your neighbor has better than you", said Nadal about the big 3- rivalry.

Nadal starts as the favourite but Medvedev will look to play spoilsport. Both players will look to avoid sluggish starts and capitalize on the initial momentum.

The exciting American crowd with an enormous 23000 capacity will be backing Rafael Nadal, but Medvedev loves to get them at the edge of their seats and will aim to deliver the big punches when it matters.

Prediction

Rafael Nadal to win in four sets

Cover Image Credits - atptour.com

 

 

 

 

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