Nadal edges Medvedev for 4th US Open title, 19th Slam trophy

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Rafael Nadal reacts during the men's Singles Finals match against Daniil Medvedev during their men's Singles Finals match at the 2019 US Open in New York on September 8, 2019. (AFP / Johannes Eisele)
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Rafael Nadal, of Spain, reacts after defeating Daniil Medvedev, of Russia, to win the men's singles final of the U.S. Open tennis championships Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in New York. (AP)
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2019 US Open - Day 14 Mon 09 Sep 2019 04:28 AST (Dated Sun 08 Sep 2019) Finalist Daniil Medvedev (2nd R) waves during the trophy presentation ceremony alongside winner Rafael Nadal (2nd L) after their Men's Singles final match on day fourteen of the 2019 US Open in New York City. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/AFP)
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Rafael Nadal reacts during the trophy ceremony after defeating Daniil Medvedev in the men's singles final of the US Open tennis championships on Sept. 8, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)
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Daniil Medvedev returns a shot against Rafael Nadal of Spain in the men's singles final on day fourteen of the 2019 US Open tennis tournament in New York. (Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports)
Updated 09 September 2019

Nadal edges Medvedev for 4th US Open title, 19th Slam trophy

  • The 33-year-old Spanish left-hander moved one shy of Roger Federer’s all-time men’s record 20 Grand Slam triumphs
  • It was the second Slam title of the year for Nadal after taking his 12th French Open crown in June

NEW YORK: Rafael Nadal captured his 19th career Grand Slam title in thrilling fashion on Sunday by winning the US Open final, outlasting Russia’s Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4 to seize his fourth crown in New York.
The 33-year-old Spanish left-hander moved one shy of Roger Federer’s all-time men’s record 20 Grand Slam triumphs and became the second-oldest New York champion in the Open era after Ken Rosewall in 1970 at age 35.
World number two Nadal took the top prize of $3.85 million at Arthur Ashe Stadium and added to his US Open trophy haul from 2010, 2013 and 2017.
Nadal, who was in his fifth US Open championship match and 27th Grand Slam final, is the first man to claim five major titles after turning 30.
But it took a supreme effort from the Spanish maestro, who nearly became the first player to drop the final after leading by two sets since Frederick Schroeder in 1949.
Nadal, who rose to 22-12 in five-set matches, has dropped only one Grand Slam match out of more than 200 when he has won the first two sets, the loss coming at the hands of Italy’s Fabio Fognini in the 2015 US Open third round.
At four hours and 50 minutes, the match finished four minutes shy of equaling the longest final in US Open history from Mats Wilander’s 1988 win and Andy Murray’s 2012 title.

Rafael Nadal celebrates after winning his Men's Singles final match against Daniil Medvedev. (Mike Stobe/Getty Images/AFP)

It was the second Slam title of the year for Nadal after taking his 12th French Open crown in June.
In addition to reaching the brink of Federer’s mark, Nadal moved one shy of the Open era record five US Open titles won by Federer, Jimmy Connors and Pete Sampras.
Nadal, who won his only prior meeting with Medvedev in last month’s Montreal final, seldom looked threatened after being broken early in the match.
The Spaniard stretched his win streak over Russians to 20 matches since losing to Nikolay Davydenko in the 2011 Doha semifinals.
Fifth seed Medvedev, 23, battled throughout his first Grand Slam final but could not become the youngest men’s Grand Slam champion since Juan Martin del Potro at the 2009 US Open, falling to 0-5 in five-set matches.
Medvedev, who saw his career-best 12-match win streak snapped, would have been the first Russian to win a Grand Slam title since Marat Safin at the 2005 Australian Open and the first Russian to win the US Open since Safin in 2000.
At 6-foot-6 (1.98m), Medvedev also would have matched Marin Cilic and del Potro as the tallest champion in US Open history.
Nadal saved a break point in the second game of the fourth set when Medvedev netted a backhand and a huge Nadal chant roared from the stands.

Rafael Nadal celebrates match point against Daniil Medvedev. (Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports)

Medvedev denied Nadal on two break chances in the fifth game as the tension built. Then Nadal was broken in the 10th game to drop the set, Medvedev blasting a backhand return winner to complete a five-point run to force a fifth set.
Nadal battled through the second game of the final set, denying three Medvedev break chances to hold.
Nadal fired a backhand volley winner to break Medvedev for a 3-2 lead, stretching to reach the Russian’s drop volley and flicking a winner that brought a roar from the crowd.
Chants of “Ra-fa” echoed through the stadium as he held to 4-2 and Medvedev sent an overhead smash beyond the baseline to hand the Spaniard a break for a 5-2 edge.
Nadal served for the match but Medvedev took a break to 5-3 when umpire Ali Nili issued Nadal a time violation for his first serve and the Spaniard sent his second serve long, the crowd booing Nili for his violation call.
Nadal had two break and match points in the ninth game, but Medvedev fired a backhand winner and Nadal netted a forehand return as the Russian held to 5-4 and the drama intensified.
Again serving for the match, Nadal rescued a break point then hit a forehand drop volley for his third match point chance and took the victory when Medvedev sent a forehand return long.
Nadal screamed and fell to the court on his back after the epic showdown.
This year’s US Open set an all-time attendance record with 737,872 fans watching over the Flushing Meadows fortnight.

Big win for Chelsea as VAR calls take center stage again

Updated 22 February 2020

Big win for Chelsea as VAR calls take center stage again

  • Sheffield United miss chance to boost their case for Champions League football next season

LONDON: Chelsea manager Frank Lampard made all the right decisions to mastermind another win over Jose Mourinho and strike a significant blow in the bunched race for Champions League qualification.

It was a couple of decisions by video assistant referees which caused the biggest fuss in the English Premier League on Saturday, however.

Olivier Giroud and Marcos Alonso — handed rare starts by Lampard — scored the goals in a 2-1 victory over Tottenham, allowing Chelsea to pull clear again in fourth place after the team’s poor recent run.

It was Tottenham manager Mourinho’s second loss to former club Chelsea this season.

Much of the talk during and after the game was about a call by VAR not to send off Tottenham midfielder Giovani Lo Celso for an apparent stamp on Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta in the second half that looked worse on each replay.  The Premier League later said it should have been a red card.

Then, over at Turf Moor, relegation-threatened Bournemouth was denied an equalizer against Burnley when VAR chose to rule out Harry Wilson’s goal because it judged there was a handball in the Bournemouth area 15 seconds earlier.

Bournemouth’s players and manager, Eddie Howe, were livid — the team had already had a goal disallowed for a ball hitting the shoulder of one of its players in the buildup — and Burnley striker Jay Rodriguez piled on their misery by converting the penalty on the way to a 3-0 win.

VAR was introduced to the Premier League for the first time this season and fans are growing increasingly frustrated at its impact on the game.

Aston Villa stayed one point above the relegation zone after losing 2-0 at Southampton, and Crystal Palace eased any relegation concerns by beating Newcastle 1-0.

Sheffield United had to settle for drawing with Brighton 1-1 on its return to English Premier League action, missing the chance to climb into the Champions League qualification positions on Saturday.

The Blades spent their winter break in Dubai, while their top-five rivals failed to make any notable headway in their absence.

United was on its way to matching fourth-placed Chelsea’s win against Tottenham earlier in the day when Enda Stevens blasted the hosts in front in the 26th minute. However, Neal Maupay equalized four minutes later to earn a point that pushed Brighton further clear of the relegation zone, though Graham Potter’s side is without a league win in seven matches.

United was dominant in the second half, with Brighton goalkeeper Mathew Ryan making a point-blank save to deny Oliver McBurnie near the end.

The draw kept the Blades in sixth place, although they were tied on points with fifth-placed Tottenham. Both are four points adrift of Chelsea.

However, fifth place is enough to qualify for the Champions League because second-placed Manchester City was punished last week with a two-year ban from European competitions for breaching financial regulations. City has said it will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.