Spain’s Nadal, 33, won 7-5 6-3 5-7 4-6 6-4 against the fifth seed in New York in the US Open. Nadal now wins his 19th grand slam and is just 1 behind rival Roger Federer.
Nadal, seeded second, was cruising at two sets and a break up, only for Medvedev to force a decider.
But Nadal stopped his momentum to clinch a thrilling win in four hours and 50 minutes – just four minutes shorter than the longest US Open final.
Nadal’s victory moves him within one of Swiss rival Roger Federer’s all-time leading tally of men’s Grand Slam victories.
“It has been one of the most emotional nights in my tennis career,” Nadal said. “It has been an amazing final. It has been a crazy match.”
After taking his third match point, Nadal collapsed to the court in celebration, covering his face as he contemplated another famous victory which epitomized his fighting spirit.
Medvedev, 23, trudged around the net to warmly congratulate his opponent, who looked on the verge of tears as he hid behind his sweat-soaked vest while taking rapturous acclaim.
“I just want to congratulate Rafa, a 19th Grand Slam title is something unbelievable, outrageous,” said Medvedev, who looked mesmerized as he watched a video montage of Nadal’s achievements.
Many fans at the arena started the game booing Medvedev but as he continued to fight on and give Nadal a huge battle, the crowd grew into him and appreciated him even more because he gave them a match to write home about.
Medvedev had been booed by the crowd earlier in the tournament, yet heard his name loudly chanted by many as he threatened to complete an extraordinary comeback.
Ultimately it was too late as he was unable to become the first man outside Nadal, Federer and Serbia’s world number one Novak Djokovic to claim one of the sport’s biggest prizes since Stan Wawrinka’s victory here in 2016.
Author: Moses Echodu
Moses is a freelance writer for Newslibre and Programs Manager at the Craft Silicon Foundation. He loves writing about sports, politics and news around the globe and Inspiring new young people!!