Nadal Tames the Raunchy Russian, Wins US Open
After a fortnight of mandatory all-white garb at Wimbledon, the US Open can sometimes be a sartorial shock.
Rafael Nadal flashing his hammers is nothing new in the other Slams, for example.
Ironically, Russian bad boy Daniil Medvedev may have been truer to tradition at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, dude still manages to look like someone who wandered in from the public courts in search of a Tide packet.
Still, it's a great way to bring tennis to the beer-&-pretzel crowd.
Medvedev's playing style resembles his saunter, a lanky, angle-ranging court coverage that somehow gets him where he's gotta be to extend volleys.
His toes-out walking style doesn't change much at higher speeds, but dude accelerates with the best of them.
Damn well, apparently.
Good enough for Medvedev to bitta this, bitta that through the bracket, where he wound up opposite the polished Nadal before a crowd that had yet to appreciate his penchant for individual expression.
For his part, the steady Spaniard forged forward while his main rivals fell by the wayside:
- Novak Djokovic was stopped by a shoulder injury in the third set of his match with Stan Wawrinka, and
- Roger Federer was inexplicably upended by Grigor Dimitrov that was the upsettiest of this tourney's upsets.
The final itself was kinda weird. Throughout the sets, it always seemed that Nadal was in control, but there was Medvedev hanging around with clever spins and odd returns. Dude was in it until the very end of an entertaining 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4 marathon -- third longest in Open history -- that resulted in Nadal's fourth US Open title:
So there it is, the unchallenged King of Clay Courts -- 59 titles -- now holding more US Open championships in this decade than anyone else, ie- more than Serena Williams (3), Djokovic (3), and Federer (0).
As to Medvedev, dude morphed into the Repentent Russian during the proceedings, staying respectfully cool and earning respect for the fight he put up while making this one of the more memorable finals in recent times.
He actually looked like he belonged in a Slam final, even if his style really didn't. And fashion is irrelevant.