Daniil Medvedev v Rafael Nadal, US Open final - live updates




 
11:37PM

Medvedev is wilting under the relentless Nadal pressure

11:34PM

Nadal* 7-5, 6-3, 3-2 Medvedev (*next server) - Nadal breaks

Once again Nadal's forehands comes to the fore, a line drive giving Medvedev no chance to make it 30-30. He gets a sniff of a break which he doesn't pass up. He claims a break point which he makes good on after another rally from the baseline ends up with a forehand into the net from Medvedev.

The Russian has it all to do now and it is hard to see Nadal losing this.

11:30PM

Nadal 7-5, 6-3, 2-2 Medvedev* (*next server)

What. A. Point.

It was brilliant tennis by Medvedev, there were times when the Russian was on top of another long rally, but Nadal quickly turns defence into attack with a bludgeoned forehand followed up with a delicate volleyed winner. There is little you can do when all your weapons are dealt with like that. Nadal goes on to win the game, once again showing there are no weaknesses in his game.

11:23PM

Nadal* 7-5, 6-3, 1-2 Medvedev (*next server)

Another hold to love for Medvedev, winning with an ace. Those last two holds - both without Nadal winning a point - were vital.

11:21PM

Nadal 7-5, 6-3, 1-1 Medvedev* (*next server)

Full marks to Medvedev he keeps on hustling on the longer rallies - he's actually won most of the rallies over nine shots tonight - but it still doesn't allow him to find a way to break Nadal's serve. He wins a long rally at the start of the game but Nadal then comes into the net winning with a volley before forcing another error from the Medvedev forehand after another good first serve.

11:17PM

Nadal* 7-5, 6-3, 0-1 Medvedev (*next server)

As with the first two sets Medvedev starts another set well. There is no let off in effort and he wins the game without too many problems.

11:13PM

Don't tell Medvedev, but...

...Nadal has never lost a final when two sets up, and only lost twice ever with a two-set advantage.

11:10PM

Nadal claims second set 6-3 - the favourite leads 7-5, 6-3 over Medvedev

Even the very best get tight when serving for a set in a grand slam final. Nadal making an error to give Medvedev a 15-30 advantage. He responds brilliantly, though, winning the next three points - a volley, forcing a forehand error from Medvedev, then the same again after a long baseline battle - to claim a two-set lead.

It looks ominous for Medvedev now...

11:04PM

Nadal* 7-5, 5-3 Medvedev (*next server)

Just what Medvedev needed - holding his serve to love. His most comfortable hold of the day.

Can he now break Nadal's serve? He needs to...

11:02PM

Nadal's lucky point

11:01PM

Nadal 7-5, 5-2 Medvedev * (*next server)

As if Medvedev's task wasn't big enough all the luck seems to be going Nadal's way - the Spaniard rushes into the net to return a drop shot, his response hitting the top of the net twice before landing in Medvedev's half of the court for a winner.

Nadal's forehand is going up a gear, a line drive the very next point give his opponent no chance and the favourite sees out the game losing only one point.

This must be exhausting stuff for Medvedev, he's playing well but currently has no answer to the bullying brutality of Nadal.

10:56PM

Spot the celebs...

10:56PM

Nadal* 7-5, 4-2 Medvedev (*next server) Nadal breaks

Nadal is happy to engage in long baseline rallies, a tactic that is working. He's relentless and again puts early pressure on Medvedev's serve getting to 0-30.

It's another uphill battle for the Russian and another baseline battle - defending and constructing the rally before turning defence into attack - gives Nadal two more break points. This time he makes them count, a forehand from Medvedev hitting the net to give the Spaniard the first break of the set.

10:50PM

Nadal 7-5, 3-2 Medvedev * (*next server)

At the risk of creating a strong sense of deja-vu Nadal's serve is once again too dominant for Medvedev. Another easy hold for the favourite.

Nadal's serve has always been underestimated and its the weapon that's giving him a huge advantage tonight.

10:46PM

Nadal* 7-5, 2-2 Medvedev (*next server)

A bad miss by Medvedev on the drive volley gives Nadal a 0-30 lead, that is followed up with another long forehand and Nadal has three break points.

The Russian, as he has done all night, will not lie down though, winning the next two points with a mixture of determination, composure and a strong forehand. He then makes it deuce with a solid backhand. It's deuce once more following another Nadal break point, and this time the Russian shows heart to hold onto his serve.

Medvedev is showing some signs of tiredness but there is no doubting his competitive fire.

10:40PM

A sporting spectacle

One of the world's great sporting arenas...

10:39PM

Nadal 7-5, 2-1 Medvedev * (*next server)

Since the fifth game Nadal's serve has been brilliant, Medvedev is having to work so hard on every point and he does just that in the third point as he rushes into the net to play a great winner down the line. He gets it to 30-30 with yet another display of grit and hard hitting from the baseline. The response is an ace from Nadal - as sure a sign of the Spaniard telling Medvedev not to get his hopes up as any we've seen so far tonight. Another world-class serve gives him the game.

The Russian is playing very well here but unless he can put more pressure on Nadal's serve he has no chance of victory.

10:34PM

Nadal* 7-5, 1-1 Medvedev (*next server)

Medvedev is trying everything here, showing great composure and competitive spirit. He holds relatively easily. Good early signs in the second set for the Russian.

10:31PM

Nadal 7-5, 1-0 Medvedev * (*next server)

Medvedev starts the second set well winning the first two points, before Nadal mounts a fightback. It goes to deuce before Nadal wraps it up with a great serve down the line which Medvedev does well to get a racquet to.

10:22PM

Nadal breaks to claim first set 7-5

When Nadal gets a sniff of a break at 6-5 he, more often than not, makes it count. He gets to 0-30 thanks to some typically powerful forehands, then, with the score at 15-30, grinds Medvedev down with brilliant groundstrokes before unleashing the best forehand of the match for a winner.

He needed the two set points, dumping the first set point with a woeful sliced backhand into the net before claiming the first set 7-5 with the next point.

Medvedev's task just got much harder - you felt he had to win that first set to have a chance of glory tonight.

10:16PM

Nadal 6-5 Medvedev* (*next server)

Nadal really is dominant on his serve, using all his experience to move the Russian around the court. But once again Medvedev continues to be brave coming into the net and showing Nadal he'll not fold easily. The Spaniard follows that tactic coming into the net to hold serve and put all the pressure back on to Medvedev with the first set on the line.

10:11PM

Nadal* 5-5 Medvedev (*next server)

The rallies are getting shorter, both players probably needed it after that intense start. But having forced Nadal into two errors Medvedev then struggles to land a first serve, this gives Nadal the chance to get back to deuce. The Russian responds with an ace, following that up with another missed first serve.

It's a case of struggling to land a serve with the game at his mercy, then serving well when under pressure. It goes to deuce three times more with Medvedev once again coming into the net when the opportunity presents itself. He eventually holds on his seventh game point.

Medvedev now needs to get stuck into Nadal's serve.

10:03PM

Young fan supports the older player

It's fair to say most of the Arthur Ashe Stadium is behind Nadal this evening.

10:01PM

Nadal 5-4 Medvedev* (*next server)

The all-important ninth game goes to Nadal. With every game he is looking stronger and stronger on his serve. He again wins to love and has won 80 percent of his first serves.

Nadal has won 11 consecutive points on his serve

9:59PM

Nadal* 4-4 Medvedev (*next server)

Errors are beginning to creep into Medvedev's game. He makes unforced forehand errors twice in the first two points to give Nadal an advantage. In response to giving Nadal two break points the Russian twice comes into the net, the second time playing serve and volley - a sign that he is thinking clearly - to bring the game back to deuce. A double fault then gifts Nadal another break point, that is cancelled out by brilliant backhand winner by Medvedev, and he takes the game, despite four loose points - an impressive hold under a lot of pressure.

9:52PM

Hollywood is here

9:50PM

Nadal 4-3 Medvedev* (*next server)

Medvedev is looking to come into the net a bit more, trying to be more proactive. It's the right tactic but doesn't pay dividends this time around as Nadal bosses this game, once again winning to love.

9:47PM

Nadal* 3-3 Medvedev (*next server)

It was important for Medvedev to hold serve there - he's looked nerveless so far in New York and that was the case having gone behind in the sixth game. Nadal still looks nervous, he misses long with the whole court at his mercy as the Russian equals things up.

9:43PM

Nadal 3-2 Medvedev* (*next server)

That's more like it from Nadal. Having started poorly on his serve this time he holds to love.

9:42PM

Medvedev looking composed

9:41PM

Nadal* 2-2 Medvedev (*next server)

Despite being 0-30 up with a great chance for an immediate break back, Nadal, for all his experience, is looking the more edgy making an uncharacteristic forehand error. He steadies himself to get a break point and makes no mistake to back on level terms. There is a reason why he's the best in the business at breaking back.

9:35PM

Nadal 1-2 Medvedev* (*next server)

Both players are going toe-to-toe in terms of exchanging powerful groundstrokes - one 21- shot rally ends with a trademark overhead from Nadal. He is looking intense early on here, but once again Medvedev is looking confident. To give you an idea of how this match is starting, the average rally length is nine shots...That isn't bothering Medvedev who is hugging the baseline and he wins another break point and he makes this one count.

Early break for the young pretender...

9:29PM

Nadal* 1-1 Medvedev (*next server)

A much quicker game on Medvedev's serve sees the Russian win without too many problems. That will do his confidence the world of good.

9:25PM

Nadal 1-0 Medvedev* (*next server)

Medvedev goes long with a backhand first point of the game. That was a mundane start to the match that was more than lifted by the next point as the pair exchange a long baseline battle before Nadal lets rip with a forehand on the run for a brilliant winner. A double fault and an unforced error gets it back to 30-30. Medvedev, playing deep in the court, is then able to soak up the power and he gets a break point (only the 17th Nadal's had to face this tournament). The Spaniard uses all his experience to win the game but there are early signs that the Russian will not be overawed.

9:18PM

Ready? Let's play

The final is underway and Nadal is serving.

9:12PM

Nadal wins the toss and...

...elects to serve first - he clearly wants to lay down the gauntlet and get an early lead.

9:11PM

The players have arrived

Nadal is wearing his all black number while Medvedev will delight the traditionalists with his all-white garb.

9:08PM

The pre-final ceremony is underway...

Does anyone enjoy these mawkish displays of patriotism/bad singing/I could go on..?

This one features four fighter jets flying over the Arthur Ashe Stadium - a bit too much?

Anyway, I'll stop being a grumpy, cynical so-and-so. Not long to go now until the players - the reason everyone's eyes are focused on the court - appear.

9:02PM

Pundits are giving the Russian little chance

And it is not hard to see why...

...A win for Nadal would carry him to 19 majors, one short of Federer's all-time record of 20, while adding further ballast to the argument that he is a true all-rounder: not just the clay-court bully.

As Medvedev put it in the interview room on Friday: "He [Nadal] is just a machine, a beast on the court."

But both players are willing to play the long game, happy to let rallies go on and grind down their opponent. Medvedev has shown this year he is willing to try new tactics but it will take a herculean effort to shock Nadal.

8:57PM

The new McEnroe and Connors?

For those of you wanting a few more titbits about Medvedev he has just been described by Greg Rusedski as a volatile guy likely to let off stream and vent any frustration to the umpire and/or himself. In the words of Greg he's a 'bit like John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors'...

This could be interesting...

8:50PM

18-time grand slam winner verses a first-time finalist

8:44PM

The size of the task Medvedev faces

Of the past 39 grand slams all bar seven (three for Andy Murray, three for Stan Wawrinka and one for Marin Cilic) have been won by one of the big three. And of the grand slam finals Nadal has lost he has only once been beaten by someone other than Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic - 2014 Australian Open to Wawrinka, not a bad player either.

So that's the size of the task facing the Russian. But Medvedev has shown enough fight, ability and balls so far - both this year and the past two weeks - to suggest it's a challenge not beyond him.

8:38PM

Get to know Daniil...

We all know about Rafael Nadal - greatest ever clay-court player, 18 grand slams, three of which were won in New York, displays many traits of OCD while on court etc, etc - but what do we know about Daniil Medvedev?

Here's a quickfire overview of the Russian...

He's recorded the most number of victories on tour this year, he arrived at Flushing Meadows on the back of four straight finals on the American hard-court swing, is not afraid to goad the US crowd (brave boy, we say...) and has reached a career high of No. 5 in the world rankings. All this by the time he's 23, impressive.

Oh, and before arriving in New York his best performance in a Grand Slam was reaching the fourth round at this year's Australian Open.

If you want greater detail - understandable if you do - then read Simon Briggs' good piece revealing how Medvedev made it to his first grand slam final...

8:35PM

Freebie fun

One of the many, many perks you get as US Open champion is a free trip to one of New York's best attractions - the Top of the Rock (the view is so much better than from the Empire State Building, yep, this blog is dishing out free travel advice as well as sporting updates - thank me later...). But having won $3.9 million last night, we're pretty sure Andreescu could have afforded the admission fee...

8:31PM

Can lightning strike twice?

Medvedev need not go far too far back to draw some inspiration and belief that he can shock a giant of the game to claim a grand slam - only 24 hours to be precise.

Teenager Bianca Andreescu stunned Serena Williams in another match up of youth verses experience to win the women's final.

To remind you, and Daniil on the very unlikely off chance he's reading this blog as well, of just how 19-year-old Andreescu beat Serena here is our very own Simon Briggs's report.

8:05PM

Good evening tennis fans

Faster than an Ivo Karlovic serve we have reached the last grand slam final of the year and as predictable as night following day and a Nick Kyrgios tantrum one of the big three - Rafael Nadal in this case - is in it.

What fewer people would have bet on before the action got underway at Flushing Meadows is his opponent. Step forward Daniil Medvedev.

Once heralded as one of the more impressive of the much-heralded NextGen (slick marketing-speak for the group of young guns born in the mid-1990s), the 6ft 6in Russian stormed back to form this summer when he reached the finals of Washington and Montreal before landing his first ATP Masters title in Cincinnati.

He carried that run into the US Open, seeing off the challenges of, among others, Feliciano Lopez, Stan Wawrinka and Grigor Dimitrov, to make tonight's final losing only four sets in the process.

He has put down the reason for his resurgence down to one thing - consistency.

Nadal's presence in the Flushing Meadows face-off has not only been more predictable but also more stress free. The three-time US Open champion has only lost one set and an average of 10 games with each win along the way.

Can Medvedev shock the Spaniard to claim his first slam success, or will Nadal make it grand slam no 19?

Stay here to find out...

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