Nadal wins epic five-set US Open

Rafael Nadal wins five-hour battle to lift crown for fourth time

Medvedev took the third, 7-5, and then the fourth 6-4.

Creaking to start the fifth, Nadal broke from 40-0 at 2-2 to break open the deciding set.

What had all the makings of a casual crowning morphed into a grueling contest thanks to Nadal's opponent, Daniil Medvedev, a man a decade younger and appearing in his first major title match.

Rafael Nadal celebrates his fourth US Open victory.

Serena Williams was the headline act through most of two weeks, until the final big and bold headline - wood, they call it in our business - shouted out Nadal's name and Nadal's championship match against Medvedev.

Medvedev has produced a stunning six weeks on hardcourts: reaching the Washington final, losing the Montreal final to Nadal in their only prior meeting, winning the title at Cincinnati while Nadal rested and now charging into his first Grand Slam final. He beat the Swiss ace in the finals at French Open and for the first time at Wimbledon. "And, I don't know, I just, I'm emotional".

"The way that the match became very dramatic at the end, that makes this day unforgettable, part of my history of this sport", Nadal said. Nobody has had more success in Australia than seven-time champ Djokovic, who is still in the mix with 16 Slams.

Nadal's victory also saw him join an elite club with Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Pete Sampras and Federer as winners of four or more US Open men's singles titles in the open era. A win today would lift him to a 19th career major title, pulling within one of Roger Federer atop the all-time leaderboard.

Rafael Nadal is seeking his fourth U.S. Open title since 2010 and 19th major championship overall.

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"I would love to be the one who have more".

Medvedev broke back one last time before Nadal extinguished him. But his attempt to become the first man since 1949 to win a US Open final after trailing by two sets to none came up just short.

"Personal satisfaction of the way that I resisted all these tough moments is very high".

For now, though, it's Nadal and Federer at the top of the game.

"To be honest in my mind, I was already thinking, 'What do I say in the speech, it's going to be in 20 minutes", Medvedev said.

Through the first two sets Medvedev had committed 29 unforced errors, to 17 for Nadal.

Even at the very end - or when everyone, save Medvedev, perhaps, figured it was the very end - Nadal had trouble closing things out. But Nadal held and then turned on the afterburners, elevating his game to the point that he was able to break Medvedev in the fifth game.

Those lucky enough to be watching among a near 24,000 capacity crowd were regularly left open-mouthed at what they witnessed, with the majority jumping to their feet and celebrating wildly after every point, helping create an electric atmosphere on a noisy Arthur Ashe Stadium.

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