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Nadal Helps US Open Set New Attendance Record

  • Posted: Sep 10, 2019

Nadal Helps US Open Set New Attendance Record

Spaniard one major title shy of matching Federer with 20

Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev’s instant classic US Open final helped the season’s fourth major set a new attendance mark this year. A record 737,872 fans strolled through the gates in New York, about 5,000 more than last year, to break the prior record of 732,663.

You May Also Like: Nadal Claims Epic Five-Set Win Over Medvedev For US Open Title

In total, during the past three weeks, 853,227 people attended the tournament, including the US Open Fan Week, which includes qualifying matches.

Nadal beat Medvedev in the five-set final that lasted four hours, 49 minutes to win his 19th major title and second of the season.

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Q3 Review: Medvedev Goes On A Tear; Nadal Extends Race Lead

  • Posted: Sep 10, 2019

Q3 Review: Medvedev Goes On A Tear; Nadal Extends Race Lead looks back at tournaments in the third quarter of 2019

The development of Daniil Medvedev’s game and his subsequent rise up the ATP Rankings has been one of the storylines of the 2019 ATP Tour season. Medvedev’s star shone brightly on the summer North American hard-court swing, which will live long in the memory, when he recorded 20 wins from 23 matches.

His four-tournament tear included his first ATP Masters 1000 crown at the Western & Southern Open, where he beat World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals and David Goffin in the final. Having been No. 19 in the ATP Rankings on the eve of the Australian Open in January, Medvedev found himself in the Top 5 after his Cincinnati run, the first Russian man to hold that position since Nikolay Davydenko in June 2010.

Back-to-back finals at the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. (l. to Kyrgios) and the Coupe Rogers (l. to Nadal), had preceded Cincinnati, but it was at the US Open where he showcased his personality and tactical maturity in reaching his first Grand Slam championship final.

Read Reaction: Medvedev – ‘After The Summer, I Had No Fear’ 

By beating 2016 champion Stan Wawrinka in the quarter-finals, Medvedev qualified for the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals, the season finale at The O2 in London from 10-17 November, for the first time, and he didn’t rest on his laurels in overcoming Grigor Dimitrov in the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows.

Only an inspired performance by Rafael Nadal, over five epic sets, could stop the momentum of the 23-year-old, who became the first player to record 50 match wins in 2019. Currently at No. 4, Medvedev has set eight new ATP Rankings highs this season.

Nadal Steps Up Bid For Year-End No. 1
Nadal’s enduring quality and longevity was highlighted in New York City, when the Spanish superstar reached his third major championship final of the year (also Australian Open and Roland Garros) to earn his 19th Grand Slam crown. Read Final Match Report

Fourteen years on from his first triumph at 2005 Roland Garros, the 33-year-old has now reached three Grand Slam finals in a single season on four occasions (also 2010-11 and 2017).

Nadal built up an 11-match winning streak over the summer by clinching a record-extending 35th Masters 1000-level crown in Montreal and kept his nerve — as other seeded players lost early — en route to a fourth trophy at the US Open.

You May Also Like: Nadal Extends Lead Over Djokovic In Battle For Year-End No. 1

As a result of his two tournament performances, Nadal added 3,000 points to his 2019 ATP Race To London tally, going from 6,225 points on 5 August to 9,225 points on 9 September. In the same period, Djokovic has gone from 6,725 points to 7,265 points, and now sits 1,960 points behind Nadal, who is in a strong position to finish year-end No. 1 for a fifth time (2008, 2010, 2013, 2017).

Djokovic lost in the Cincinnati semi-finals (l. to Medvedev) and the US Open fourth round (retired vs. Wawrinka), where he explained he looks forward to a battle for No. 1.

Kyrgios Manages Racquet Emergency For D.C. Title
Nick Kyrgios channelled his energy and worked his way through a racquet emergency for his second ATP 500-level title of his career in early August at the Citi Open. The 24-year-old Australian, who’d beaten three Top 10 players (d. Nadal, Isner and Zverev) en route to the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC earlier in the season, won six matches in Washington, D.C. for his sixth ATP Tour crown.

Shortly after his 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(6) semi-final against Stefanos Tsitsipas, when Kyrgios saved one match point, the 24-year-old realised he had only one undamaged tennis racquet left in his bag. His father sent a rush shipment of additional racquets from Canberra, Australia, but they were stuck in customs at FedEx’s Washington Dulles International Airport.

Kyrgios enlisted the help of Citi Open owner Mark Ein, but went to bed on the eve of the final thinking that he’d only be playing with one frame. Ein came to the rescue and Kyrgios beat Daniil Medvedev 7-6(6), 7-6(4) in the final. Read Report & Watch Final Highlights

Basilashvili Retains Hamburg Crown During Clay Swing
Nikoloz Basilashvili was the standout performer at the Hamburg European Open, where he extended his winning streak to 11 matches at the ATP 500-level tournament. Having won his first ATP Tour title in 2018 as a World No. 81-ranked qualifier, the 27-year-old Georgian returned to save two match points against Alexander Zverev 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(5) in the semi-finals before another tough three-set win against Andrey Rublev in the final.

Read Feature: Basilashvili: Putting Together A Jigsaw

Elsewhere on the summer European clay-court swing, two players lifted their first ATP Tour trophies. Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic backed up April’s run to the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters final by lifting his first ATP Tour title at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag (d. Balazs) and Chile’s Nicolas Jarry was successful at the Swedish Open in Bastad (d. Londero). Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas swept through to the J. Safra Sarasin Swiss Open Gstaad crown (d. Stebe).

Dimitrov Returns To Big Stage
Grigor Dimitrov returned to some of his peak performances days at the US Open, where he reached the third Grand Slam championship semi-final of his career (also 2014 Wimbledon and 2017 Australian Open). With a 1-6 record since Roland Garros, Dimitrov admitted to having low expectations ahead of the US Open, but solid practice prior to the final major of 2019, coupled with his all-round game, came together in a five-set quarter-final victory over Roger Federer. Read Match Report & Watch Highlights

“I kept on believing in the process, kept on working, kept on trying to improve, whatever else I had to improve on my end,” admitted Dimitrov after beating Federer. “I really controlled the things that I could.”

From the high of No. 3 in the ATP Rankings and the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals crown to losing to World No. 405 Kevin King in the BB&T Atlanta Open first round, Dimitrov competed in New York City at No. 78, and with a lot of doubts. The 28-year-old managed to turn around his year through sheer dedication, and provided tennis fans with a heart-warming run and hope of better results in 2020.

Berrettini Moves Into Mix For Nitto ATP Finals Spot
Matteo Berrettini had 1,140 points on 15 July, following the conclusion of Wimbledon, and was 845 points adrift of eighth-placed Medvedev. While he’d enjoyed a breakthrough season, with two ATP Tour titles at the MercedesCup In Stuttgart (d. Auger-Aliassime) and the Hungarian Open in Budapest (d. Krajinovic), in addition to a runner-up finish at the BMW Open by FWU in Munich (l. to Garin), Berrettini’s hard-court form wasn’t quite as strong.

Having gone 5-8 on hard courts this year prior to the Italian’s lone post-Wimbledon outing in Cincinnati, where he lost in the first round to Juan Ignacio Londero, very little was expected of him on the eve of the US Open. After all, he’d lost to No. 72-ranked Denis Kudla in the 2018 first round.

But the 23-year-old grew in confidence throughout the US Open, winning five straight matches, including a thrilling 7-6(5) fifth-set victory over Gael Monfils in the quarter-finals, to set up a clash against Nadal, who he’d idolised as a child. By reaching his first Grand Slam championship semi-final, and, as a result of early losses for Nitto ATP Finals contenders, Berrettini soared from 17th to ninth in the 2019 ATP Race To London.

With four singles spots left up for grabs at the season finale, July’s Generali Open titlist Dominic Thiem and 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas are in strong positions to qualify, but Berrettini (2,160) is now one of four players within 100 points of eighth-placed Nishikori (2,180). Defending Nitto ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev (2,120), David Goffin (2,080) and Gael Monfils (2,080) are also in contention.

With two months to go until the Nitto ATP Finals, the conclusion of the regular ATP Tour season will be intriguing. Buy Your Tickets

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Sock & Fritz Round Out Team World For Laver Cup In Geneva

  • Posted: Sep 10, 2019

Sock & Fritz Round Out Team World For Laver Cup In Geneva

Kevin Anderson withdraws due to knee injury

Team World Captain John McEnroe has named Jack Sock and Taylor Fritz to his team for Laver Cup 2019, taking place in Geneva from 20-22 September.

“Jack has been our MVP for the past two years and I’m delighted he’ll be joining us in Geneva this year,” McEnroe said.

“We’ve got to be strategic, Team Europe is going to be tough to beat. For us, doubles has been very important over the past couple of years. We’ve won the great majority of our doubles matches and obviously Jack was a big part of that.

“He’s one of the best doubles players in the world, tremendously versatile and a great team player – it’s an environment he thrives in. I think he may very well be the key to success for us in Geneva.”

Sock can’t wait to play the Laver Cup for a third time.

“I look forward to playing Laver Cup every year and experiencing the amazing team atmosphere and camaraderie. It’s probably the best atmosphere any of us have ever played in.

“I’m fortunate to be playing with some of my best friends on tour, we all get on really well and have a lot of fun. You know the other guys have your back out there, they’re supporting you, watching your whole match, it makes you want to play your best, and I think it happens and can make a huge difference.

“For the first two years Team World has really hung in there and we’ve definitely had our chances to win, and it’s been so close. If a couple of points here and there had gone the other way, you know we could’ve been holding the trophy in both years.

“Being in his home country we’re expecting an insane number of Roger and Team Europe fans, but you know we had a similar experience in Prague so we’re used to it. We’re definitely heavy underdogs but it’s going to be fun to get out there to try and prove people wrong, and cause a big upset.”

McEnroe announced World No. 30 Taylor Fritz will join Team World, as Kevin Anderson withdrew from the Laver Cup due to the knee injury that also prevented him playing at the US Open.

“Taylor Fritz is having the best season of his career, he’s shown some blistering form this year, and had a rapid rise up the rankings to hit a high of World No. 25,” McEnroe said.

“Taylor is one of the young guns to watch in world tennis. He’s only 21 years old, he gets on great with all the guys and he’ll be a great addition to the team in Geneva.

“I know Kevin is disappointed he can’t play Laver Cup this year – he was fantastic in Chicago – and we all wish him the very best with his rehab and look forward to seeing him back on the court soon,” McEnroe continued.

Laver Cup fast facts:
• The Laver Cup is a three-day tournament pitting a team of six of the best tennis players from Europe against six of their counterparts from the rest of the world
• Björn Borg is captain of Team Europe and John McEnroe is captain of Team World
• Thomas Enqvist and Patrick McEnroe are vice captains of Team Europe and Team World, respectively
• Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Fabio Fognini are confirmed to play for Team Europe
• John Isner, Milos Raonic, Nick Kyrgios, Taylor Fritz, Denis Shapovalov and Jack Sock will play for Team World
• The tournament is named in honor of Australian tennis legend Rod Laver, the only man to win two calendar-year Grand Slams, and one of the greatest players of all time
• The unique format of the tournament showcases tennis superstars competing on the same team, playing singles, pairing up in doubles and cheering each other on from the sidelines
• The inaugural Laver Cup was held at the O2 arena in Prague, Czech Republic, in September 2017, with Team Europe defeating Team World 15-9
• In September 2018 more than 90,000 fans attended the Laver Cup at the United Center in Chicago, where Team Europe once again edged out Team World to win the second Laver Cup 13-8
• The location will rotate between major cities in Europe and the rest of the world each year.


Team Europe
Captain: Bjorn Borg
[2] Rafael Nadal
[3] Roger Federer
[5] Dominic Thiem
[6] Alexander Zverev
[7] Stefanos Tsitsipas
[11] Fabio Fognini

Team World
Captain: John McEnroe
[20] John Isner
[24] Milos Raonic
[27] Nick Kyrgios
[30] Taylor Fritz
[33] Denis Shapovalov
[37 doubles] Jack Sock

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Bethanie Mattek-Sands & Caroline Wozniacki enrol at Harvard Business School

  • Posted: Sep 10, 2019

Just days after winning the US Open mixed doubles title, Bethanie Mattek-Sands is heading back to school – and is joined in class at Harvard Business School by former world number one Caroline Wozniacki.

Mattek-Sands, 34, who announced she had enrolled at the prestigious university on Twitter, and partner Jamie Murray won their second consecutive title in New York on Saturday.

The American posed in front of the school’s famous red-brick building in Massachusetts, wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the slogan “girls can do anything”.

And in a similar move Denmark’s Wozniacki, 29, said studying at Harvard was “a dream come true”.

  • Jamie Murray column: ‘Amazing feeling to win US Open again – and I still have big goals’

The 2018 Australian Open champion, who has struggled with injuries this season and was diagnosed with arthritis in 2018, lost in the third round at Flushing Meadows to eventual champion Bianca Andreescu.

The duo follow in the footsteps of five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova, who studied for a business diploma at Harvard in 2016 when she was banned for using a prohibited drug.

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Jamie Murray column: US Open success & 'amazing chemistry' with Bethanie Mattek-Sands

  • Posted: Sep 10, 2019

In his latest BBC Sport column, Jamie Murray describes why his fourth US Open title in four years was so special, the emotions and moments which follow a Grand Slam triumph, and the goals he has left in the sport.

It goes without saying I’m delighted to have won a fourth US Open title in four years after Bethanie Mattek-Sands and I retained the mixed doubles.

Winning four titles in a row there, one in the men’s and three in the mixed, is an amazing achievement and retaining the mixed is not an easy thing to do.

We are the first team to achieve that in 37 years so it shows how hard it is.

Now I’m looking to finish the season strongly with my men’s doubles partner Neal Skupski to set us up nicely for 2020.

I still have a couple of big goals left in my career – winning the men’s doubles at Wimbledon and the French Open.

Winning those titles with Neal would certainly be a career highlight.

It is an amazing feeling to win the biggest events. That’s what makes the training and sacrifices all worthwhile – for those moments.

Jamie Murray’s Grand Slam titles
2007 Wimbledon mixed doubles with Jelena Jankovic
2016 Australian Open men’s doubles with Bruno Soares
2016 US Open men’s doubles with Bruno Soares
2017 Wimbledon mixed doubles with Martina Hingis
2017 US Open mixed doubles with Martina Hingis
2018 US Open mixed doubles with Bethanie Mattek-Sands
2019 US Open mixed doubles with Bethanie Mattek-Sands

Neal and I joined up for the grass-court season and, after losing in the first round at Wimbledon, we really gelled over the North American hard-court season.

We had plenty of game time together, reaching the semi-finals in Cincinnati and Winston Salem, and that paid off as we also reached the semi-finals in the men’s competition at Flushing Meadows.

Initially we said our partnership would be until at least the end of this year and we will continue to play together next year.

Things have gone well so now we can get ourselves in a good position to start things up next year and get a full season together.

The past few weeks have been a good run for our partnership; we did well getting to the semi-finals, but also the fact of playing more matches and getting a better understanding. That will definitely get stronger.

‘We drank champagne out of the trophy and ate pizza’

After you’ve won a Grand Slam title you don’t immediately have time to let what you’ve just done sink in – there is so much you have to do after coming off court.

That initial moment, when you win match point, you’re immediately feeling ecstatic. Although it was very funny on Saturday because Beth hadn’t realised we had won.

She thought the score was something else and then I had a panic that I had started to celebrate and we hadn’t actually won.

But the crowd was going crazy so I knew we had and then she bounded over to jump on me in celebration. It was a great moment.

We played an amazing match from start to finish and kept going where we left off in the semi-finals. The way we played against Chan Hao-ching and Michael Venus – the top seeds – was pleasing and we’re so happy to win again.

Standing on court receiving your trophies is always an emotional moment and after receiving our prizes, we had to go straight to drug testing to pee!

After that we had to go to a couple of television studios for interviews, do a ‘winner’s walk’ video for the US Open, talk to the press and then finally get a shower.

Then I had to head to the airport because my flight was only a few hours after the final finished so I was rushing around a bit.

I turned my phone off before the match and once I finally got the chance to check it I had 51 WhatsApp messages of congratulations.

My brother Andy and my dad William were among them, plus lots of other members of the family and friends, while my mum was there watching so she could say congratulations in person.

Even though I had to rush off to JFK airport, I still had time to squeeze in some champagne – which we drank out of the trophy – and pizza with Bethanie and her husband Justin, my wife Alejandra, and the other members of our teams.

We did that last year so we had to continue the winning tradition!

We get a replica trophy which they send to us and that will go somewhere in the living room, probably around the television.

I’ve got a few trophies around the house because my wife says it is nice to document what I’ve achieved and show my hard work has paid off.

It is nice to have those memories because it is easy not to celebrate because then there is next week and the next step. But it’s cool to take time to reflect on previous successes and enjoy it.

‘Bethanie’s injury problems makes victory even more special’

Bethanie and I will keep playing together, I’m sure we will be playing the Australian Open as a pair.

We have amazing chemistry on court and that’s incredibly important for a doubles team. That’s what helps you get through the difficult moments.

You can put two great players on the court together but if they don’t have that bond then ultimately they will fall short and won’t be as successful as a team that are together through thick and thin.

Bethanie unfortunately missed the French Open earlier this year because of injury but as long as she is fit and healthy then we will keep playing.

She suffered a career-threatening knee injury at Wimbledon a couple of years ago and it is incredible what she has come back from.

I saw her a few months after the surgery from the dislocated knee – with Justin here, actually – and basically she was learning to walk again, take her first steps again. So to see where she is now is incredible.

She had another knee surgery this year so it has been difficult for her but to be back winning the biggest tournaments in the world is what makes all the rehab and perseverance all worth it.

It certainly makes our victory even more special.

Jamie Murray was speaking to BBC Sport’s Jonathan Jurejko at Flushing Meadows

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ATP Rankings vs ATP Race To London: What's The Difference?

  • Posted: Sep 10, 2019

ATP Rankings vs ATP Race To London: What’s The Difference?

Here’s what you need to know about the different leaderboards

It’s that time of the year again when the attention of the tennis world begins to focus on who will qualify for Nitto ATP Finals. Only this season’s best eight singles players and doubles teams will compete at the world’s biggest indoor tennis event, to be held at The O2 in London from 10-17 November.

Players earn their place at the season finale by finishing in the Top 8 of the ATP Race To London on 4 November, when the ATP Tour regular season concludes after the Rolex Paris Masters. The Race is a calendar-year points race that starts at the beginning of each ATP Tour season. 

ATP Race vs ATP Rankings

Throughout the season a player adds his best eligible results from up to 18 tournaments to his Race points tally. Winning a prestigious ATP Masters 1000 title earns the champion 1000 points. Titles at ATP 500 and 250-level tournaments return 500 points and 250 points, respectively. Players who don’t win the title still earn points based on how far they advance in the draw.

The Race differs from the ATP Rankings, the historical world rankings. A player’s ranking is determined by his best 18 tournament results over the preceding 52 weeks. A high ranking is needed to get into the world’s best tournaments and rankings also determine if a player is seeded. Novak Djokovic is known as the World No. 1 because he sits atop the Rankings. Daniil Medvedev is known as a Top 10 player because he is No. 4 in the Rankings.

More often than not, a player’s Race standing is different to his ranking. For example, Rafael Nadal is first in the Race but second in the Rankings because he has enjoyed more success in 2019 — with two Grand Slam and two ATP Masters 1000 titles — than over the longer time period of the past 52 weeks. Nadal concluded his 2018 season early due to injury, following a semi-final run at the US Open.

You May Also Like: Nadal Extends Lead Over Djokovic In Battle For Year-End No. 1

In the latter part of the season, a player’s focus turns to his position in the Race because it becomes an accurate predictor of what the player’s year-end ranking will be. And, of course, the Race determines who makes it to London.

Djokovic, Nadal, Roger Federer and Medvedev are the four players who have already booked their spots at The O2. In doubles, one team – Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah – has booked its spots.

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Kafelnikov on Medvedev: ‘Everyone Was Watching Until 4 In The Morning’

  • Posted: Sep 10, 2019

Kafelnikov on Medvedev: ‘Everyone Was Watching Until 4 In The Morning’

Former World No. 1 reflects on his countryman’s efforts in the US Open final

As Sunday evening turned into Monday morning in Russia, the two Russian men who have won a Grand Slam singles title had their eyes glued to their respective televisions. Both former World No. 1s, Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Marat Safin were texting one another as their countryman, Daniil Medvedev, took the tennis world on a roller-coaster ride in the US Open final. The 23-year-old battled from two sets and a break down to force a fifth set against Rafael Nadal before ultimately succumbing after nearly five hours in an epic clash against the Spaniard, who is now a 19-time Slam titlist.

“We exchanged text messages saying, ‘It could be an easy three sets’ after he lost the first set. But then after the third, we started thinking, ‘Wow, this is going to be interesting!’” Kafelnikov told “And of course, especially in the beginning of the fifth set, we said, ‘He’s going to win it!’ because he had total control of the match in the beginning of the fifth set.”

A loss is a loss, but it didn’t feel like one for Medvedev. Not only did he come full circle with the crowd, which gave him an applause to remember during his post-match speech, but the Russian proved that he can go blow-for-blow under a lot of pressure against an all-time great.

“To turn it around from having lost the match and to turn it around to almost winning the match and to end up losing, it’s a bummer. But at the end of the day, it’s absolutely a victory,” Kafelnikov said. “He gained experience, I’m sure. I was hoping it was not going to be the last time he was going to participate in a Grand Slam final, but after what I saw yesterday, I’m absolutely sure he’s going to have his chances many, many times more.”

You May Also Like: Daniil Medvedev: ‘After The Summer, I Had No Fear’

Before arriving in Flushing Meadows, Medvedev had never advanced past the fourth round of a major. But riding the form of a tremendous North American summer hard-court swing in which he reached the final in Washington and Montreal before triumphing in Cincinnati, the new World No. 4 kept his level up to put forth another great showing, this time in New York.

“That’s another huge step forward for Daniil. At 23 we had not seen him get past the fourth round. This tournament he showed, ‘Okay, I’m going to be a contender for a very long time now in the Grand Slams,’” Kafelnikov said. “Daniil believes now he can be a contender every time he steps on the court in the Slams. That kind of confidence is very important for every player.”

And as the 2017 Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier said after his loss, he had no fear after the past couple of months, and he thought Nadal was the player with something to lose. Medvedev also defeated three-time Slam champion Stan Wawrinka in the quarters and ousted 2017 Nitto ATP Finals winner Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets in the semi-finals.

“Right now it’s obvious that he has another gear when he plays against [top] opponents, whom he is capable of beating. He showed it against Djokovic this summer and he showed it yesterday against Rafa, that he can bring it up a gear, he can raise his game to another level, which I was not able to see before,” Kafelnikov said. “This is a sign of a player who has matured, who has gotten better. He belongs to the Top 5 at the moment for sure.”

20% Off Medvedev's Gear at Tennis Warehouse

According to the new International Tennis Hall of Famer, it wasn’t that Medvedev did not have the game to finish off the Spaniard inside Arthur Ashe Stadium; he earned three break points to go up 2-0 in the decider. It was that Nadal brought certain intangibles to the court that the Russian had not yet earned.

“We all know that Rafa is a fighter. Every time he smells [a chance he is] like, ‘Okay, this is my chance’, he always takes the opportunity and after he got back into the match at 1-1 in the fifth set, he just said, ‘Okay, I’m not going to let the title go,’” Kafelnikov said. “From that point on I think what played a huge role in the fifth set is experience. Rafa was definitely more experienced than Daniil. At the end of the day, Daniil got what’s needed. He’s 23 years old, he will have many more opportunities in the future.”

Medvedev entered the match winless in four previous five-setters. But hanging in with the physicality of facing Nadal is an even tougher challenge. And although he lost, the fifth seed met that challenge and came ever so close to passing it.

“I was most impressed how he kept his physical condition to stay in the match for four and a half hours with Rafa,” Kafelnikov said. “In the past he showed that he was not physically capable of going the distance all the way, and yesterday I was really impressed that for four and a half hours he was battling against one of the toughest opponents of all time.”

They even broadcasted the match on one of Russia’s biggest television stations, and countless people back home watched as the five-time ATP Tour champion battled against the legendary lefty.

“I am very proud that he did fight, he did not give up after being two sets to love down and a break down in the third set. He has nothing to be ashamed of, he did as best as he could,” Kafelnikov said. “Everyone was watching from 11pm, midnight until four in the morning. Everyone was stuck to the TVs. We are really proud of what he did and what he gave us in terms of entertainment.”

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