Fitness permitting, the 33-year-old Spaniard has at least a couple more Roland Garros wins in him, so he is well aware victory at Flushing Meadows - where Djokovic, 32, was a big favourite until injury got the better of him - could be hugely significant when the final silverware is totted up. Many tennis fans cited Medvedev as the biggest chance outside the Big 3 to take the title, but the 23-year-old downplayed his chances and pointed out that he hadn't reached a Grand Slam quarterfinal.
Nadal, seeded No. 2, rolls into the final unbeaten at this tournament in 18 consecutive matches played to completion.
Nadal update: He's one win away from capturing his fourth U.S. Open championship and his 19th Grand Slam title, which would put him one behind Roger Federer's record.
Rafael Nadal shrugged his shoulders once, twice, three times.
Next up for Nadal is a showdown with big-serving Russian Medvedev, who was a straight sets victor over Grigor Dimitrov earlier in the day. It was the last time Medvedev lost. He's one of the greatest champions in the history of our sport.
'He's only a machine, a beast on the courtroom. At the same time so fast because I haven't had any moment to just sit down and look back and say I've done fantastic things.
"I just didn't play good enough on those key points, especially I think the set point in the first set". It's not going to be a amusing thing.
"If I am able to win on Sunday, it will be wonderful". "First set had been a little bit frustrating".
Let's finish off our Nadal vs Medvedev betting tips by taking 17/5 for the Spaniard to take the first set 6-3.
Medvedev may not be winning many friends but he is winning matches.
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"For a good part of the match, I felt up to the test", said Berrettini, a 23-year-old from Rome. "Just a amusing thing with myself, not celebrating after the match and just looking at my team".
Medvedev improved his North American hardcourt record this summer to 20-2, reaching the fourth final in a row. I need to be playing at my best. "So I have to say I love U.S.".
His on-court antics, which included angrily snatching a towel from a ballperson and showing the crowd the middle finger, have earned him $19,000 in fines.
He insisted those actions were atypical and vowed to become better.
So whilst the women's game is producing new players to challenge the greats, the men's game has struggled to replicate that.
"We don't need to hold this era anymore", Nadal said.
"As always in a Grand Slam final you can't expect an easy opponent".
'Thank you all guys, because your energy gave me the win, ' Medvedev mentioned sarcastically after beating Feliciano Lopez.
Nadal and Medvedev have met just once before and that was this year.
On the court, Medvedev is known for his wide variety of shots, including a hard, flat backhand and a forehand characterized by an unusual windup and follow-through. Dimitrov, who had beaten Federer three nights before, demonstrated both Friday. In the victory, Medvedev won 75 percent of his first serve points and 48 percent of his second serve points. Once again, his opponent was Djokovic, but the Serbian star was a much different player from the one Nadal thumped in 2010. One of the three is looking to become the first Grand Slam champion born in the 1990s. I am very happy about what I'm doing. He kind of, I would say, eat me on the court. he was only going harder, harder, faster, stronger, and I was only going down. He stayed true to both sides: in the second round, he beat Hugo Dellian despite cramps, in the third he nearly went down to an enterprising Feliciano Lopez, in the fourth he suffered a quadriceps injury and considered quitting before remarkably mixing his strategy to play "ugly" and beat a flu-affected Stan Wawrinka. If I'm able to win on Sunday, it will be unbelievable. If I lose, I hope to keep having chances in the future to add things.