Sunday, September 08, 2019

2019 US OPEN: Men's Final Preview (and Semifinals Review)

Daniil Medvedev (RUS) [5] vs Rafael Nadal (ESP) [2]
Here are my predictions for the men's final between  Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev at the 2019 U.S. Open Championships. I also (incorrectly) predicted the women's final between Serena Williams and Bianca Andreescu. This year I correctly predicted 2 of 2 women's semifinals, 1 of 2 men's semifinals,  4 of 4 women's quarterfinals and 1 of 4 men's quarterfinals correctly. Last year I incorrectly predicted Serena Williams would defeat Naomi Osaka.

Daniil Medvedev (RUS) [5] d. Grigor Dimitrov (BLR) 7-6(5) 6-4 6-3.  Despite having fewer winners, more errors and a winning fewer points in the first set, Medvedev was able to steal it in the tiebreak.  He was able to continue his improbable winning streak by ending Dimitrov's even more improbable run at the U.S. Open. The 6-foot-6 23-year-old Russian played the bigger points better and was rewarded with his very first major final appearance.

Rafael Nadal (ESP) [2] d. Matteo Berrettini (ITA) [24] 7-6(6) 6-4 6-1. Matteo Berrettini  made a lot of fans with his play in the first set of his very first major semifinal. He was up 4-0 and 6-4 in the tiebreak but somehow Nadal was able to win the last four points and the set as the young Italian got tight at the sight of the finishing line. After that, Nadal was able to squeeze out the second set and run away with the 3rd to reach his 5th major final in New York City (3-1 record).

These two met in the final of the Rogers Cup just over a month ago and Nadal won easily (6-3 6-0). Although no one expects the final to be that one-sided, Nadal is a clear favorite to grab his 19th major title (in his 27th major final), and become the first man over 30 years old to win 5 majors. He has only lost one set so far (to 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic) and also had a walkover. Medvedev has had a much tougher path to the final; only his first round and semifinal round were straight set victories.  MadProfessah's pick: Nadal.

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