Rafael Nadal's 5 most memorable match wins at the US Open
Rafael Nadal beat first-time Grand Slam semifinalist Matteo Berrettini of Italy in straight sets to reach his 27th Grand Slam final and fifth at Flushing Meadows. In the process, the Spanish lefthander emulated Roger Federer as the only players in the Open Era to contest at least 5 finals at all the four Majors.
Two days later, the Spaniard beat first-time Grand Slam finalist Daniil Medvedev of Russia in a pulsating, near five-hour, five-set slugfest to win his 4th title at the US Open and 19th Grand Slam crown.
Nadal's 64 match wins at Flushing Meadows is the third-best by an active player (8th best all-time). Here's looking back at five of the Spaniard's most memorable match wins at the final Grand Slam tournament of the season.
#5 2018 Third Round: Beat Karen Khachanov 5-7 7-5 7-6(7) 7-6(3)
22-year-old Karen Khachanov, in his first third-round match at the US Open in three tournament appearances, faced the world. no. 1 and defending champion Rafael Nadal for a place in the second week.
Consigning his four previous matches against the world's top-ranked player to distant memory, Khachanov burst out of the blocks, taking the first set and then securing a break in the second as Nadal appeared dazed by the ferocity of his opponent's groundstrokes.
Nadal sensed the opportunity to fight back when Khachanov failed to serve out the second set for a two-set lead at 5-4 and the Spaniard reeled off three successive games to even the contest at a set apiece.
Unfazed by the loss of the second set, Khachanov remained solid on serve and laid siege on the Nadal serve. However, he saw a breakpoint come and go in the sixth game of the third set which then proceeded to a tiebreak. Nadal exhibited his superior tactical nous by winning a 39-point rally to arrive at set point which he duly converted for a two sets to one lead.
Nadal rode his momentum and served for the match at 5-4 in the fourth set, only for Khachanov to fight back, breaking the Spaniard to love. In an epic tiebreak that ensued, Nadal finally managed to close out a hard-fought four-hour battle royale to book his berth in the fourth round.