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New York: Rafael Nadal looks to cap one of his greatest Grand Slam years with his fourth US Open title when he faces Russia's Daniil Medvedev in Sunday's final at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The 33-year-old Spanish left-hander chases his 19th career Grand Slam singles title, one shy of Roger Federer's all-time men's record, in his 27th Slam final and his fifth championship match on the New York hardcourts.
Nadal, who made the semi-finals at all four Slams for the first season since 2008, captured his 12th French Open title in June, lost the Australian Open final to Novak Djokovic and fell to Federer in the Wimbledon semi-finals.
And while he has dropped only one set in the Flushing Meadows fortnight, Nadal is facing the hottest player on tour in fifth-ranked Medvedev, who at 23 could become the first Slam winner born in the 1990s.
Medvedev has produced a stunning six weeks on hardcourts: reaching the Washington final, losing the Montreal final to Nadal in their only prior meeting, winning the title at Cincinnati while Nadal rested and now charging into his first Grand Slam final.
Medvedev leads the ATP tour in season wins and has battled through four four-set wins at the US Open.
Nadal will be Medvedev's fourth left-handed foe of the tournament.
Medvedev also sees an edge in having faced Nadal in Canada, even in defeat.
Nadal sees little to take from a windy Montreal win given the likely lack of breeze in the big stadium. "Here the wind is not there. Of course, helps a little bit," Nadal said. "But I think he's taking the steps forward every single day."
With inputs from AFP