Nadal secures fifth Rogers Cup title with victory over Medvedev
It seems like it has been a long while since Rafael Nadal looked in good shape for a hard court season, with injury having curtailed him during his last appearance at the US Open. He lost his number one ranking position to Novak Djokovic, and many wondered if he would be able to get it back. However, he has underlined his credentials for the US Open in a couple of weeks with a dominant display in Montreal.
Daniil Medvedev was meant to provide some stiff competition given that he now resides in the top ten, but Nadal was simply too good, and the world number two cruised to his fifth Rogers Cup title.
It took just 70 minutes for Nadal to secure his 6-3, 6-0 victory. Medvedev simply crumbled under the weight of some explosive play from the Spaniard, who seems to be approaching something close to his best once again.
When Nadal won the French Open title back in June, it looked like he was going to have a similarly successful grass court season, but he lost to Roger Federer in the last four at Wimbledon.
Nadal will no doubt feel that he has what it takes to do better than his rivals at the US Open, saying that the way that he was “changing directions, changing rhythms” gives him confidence going into his final two weeks of preparations.
Djokovic will still go into the US Open as the sports betting favourite, as how he outlasted Federer at Wimbledon and brushed aside Nadal in the Australian Open. However, given how easily Nadal beat a top ten rival here, with Medvedev putting up little resistance, it is hard to see a winner coming from elsewhere with these players all in such great form throughout 2019. However, it is worth noting that Flushing Meadows gets the most surprise winners compared to the other Grand Slams, though still not many.
Outside of the top three, only Stan Wawrinka and Andy Murray have won Grand Slams this decade, apart from Marin Čilić, who claimed the US Open back in 2016. Those who feel that the sport needs some new winners will certainly hope to see something developing from the NextGen players over the next days and weeks. If they cannot manage it, then we will see only six different Grand Slam winners in this decade, which shows the remarkable stranglehold of the current top three.
Words: Josh Dixon