Rafael Nadal had to work hard for his win over Daniil Medvedev and in the end it was a sweet one for the Spaniard because of the sheer intensity and hurrah at the end.
Being 2-0 up and then being pushed to the brink, Rafa almost succumbed to the pressure put on him but in the end, the grit and determination took him over the line and as Arthur Ashe turned dark, the tears started to roll down.
"An amazing final. Seems that I had, more or less, the match under control," said Nadal, who covered his face with his hands while crying when arena video boards showed clips from each of his Slam triumphs. "One of the most emotional nights of my tennis career."
"This victory means a lot, especially the way the match became so difficult, so tough." "The nerves were so high after having the match under control. It was a crazy match.
"I don’t know. I’m just emotional."
Nadal outlasted Medvedev 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4 in four hours and 49 minutes in front of an electric Arthur Ashe Stadium on Sunday, surviving a stunning comeback by the Russian.
Nadal made his opponent work for every point and overcame the aggressive Russian in one of the most gripping five-set finals in the Grand Slam history.
Medvedev, 23, rallied from two sets and a break down to force a decider. But, showing his trademark fight, experience and unrelenting resolve, the 33-year-old Nadal fought off his challenger to cross the finish line in a thrilling fashion.
But, being gracious as ever, Nadal didn't forget to praise his opponent for a sensational effort on the day.
"First word that I have is to Daniil. His summer is one of the best summers I've ever seen since I’ve been playing.
"Tonight, everybody saw why he is the number four player in the world at just 23 years old. Many congratulations for everything. The way that he was able to fight, to change the rhythm of the match was just incredible. All the very best for the future, I am sure you will have many more chances to win here.
"It has been one of the most emotional nights of my tennis career. Thank you very, very much, everybody in this stadium. It’s been amazing energy during both weeks. I think there isn't another stadium in the world that is more energetic than this one so many thanks for everything."
"The way that he was able to fight, to change the rhythm of the match, was just incredible," Nadal said.
(With inputs from IANS)