But Medvedev, who has a breathtaking command of the shotmaking repertoire, not only hung in there but also seized the momentum in the third and fourth sets.
Nadal has made his way into another U.S. Open final Sunday after beating Italian Matteo Berrettini 7-6 (8-6), 6-4, 6-1 in the semifinals.
The fourth set was a close contest of relentless rallies as Nadal grew visibly frustrated.
He did, of course. He complained to the chair umpire about the amount of time Nadal was taking to ready himself for the return. He hung tough, waited for 24th-seeded Matteo Berrettini to wilt ever so slightly and then pounced.
Rafael Nadal captured his 19th career Grand Slam title in thrilling fashion on Sunday by winning the US Open final, outlasting Russia's Daniil Medvedev 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4 to seize his fourth crown in NY.
Nadal and Medvedev had faced each other once before, a 6-3, 6-0 thumping administered by Nadal last month at Montreal.
"Since a long time ago, every time that I came here I felt comfortable".
Medvedev started the match strongly, gaining a break point in the opening game.
"What he went through during the match and still being able to survive and finish the match that way, it's out of this world", said one of Nadal's coaches, Carlos Moya.
It is Nadal's fourth championship at Flushing Meadows. It's an wonderful story, " Medvedev said.
Nine days ago Daniil Medvedev was public enemy number one at the US Open, with the NY crowd mercilessly booing him following an ugly incident with a ball person. Nadal won the first two sets 7-5, 6-3. The 23-year-old is the first Russian to reach the men's U.S. Open final since Marat Safin won the tournament in 2000.
Fast forward to the men's singles final against eventual champion Rafael Nadal, and after showing remarkable fight on the court and a lovable sense of humour, Medvedev had the Arthur Ashes Stadium chortling along at his jokes and giving him a resounding applause in appreciation of his performance on the night. But he did just enough with his mostly defensive style to get past Dimitrov, who had eliminated Federer in a five-set quarterfinal.
"It's really unusual. I think this year before I've played like three lefties in all the year", Medvedev said before the game. The crowd chanted his name but was conflicted as it also greeted Nadal's artistry in a rapturous celebration of impressive tennis. Thanks to the crowd because I feel a big support from them all the time.