Daniil Medvedev insisted he had “no regrets” after his exhilarating fightback against Rafael Nadal in the US Open final ended in heartbreak.
The Russian agonisingly missed out on a first Grand Slam title after a five-set defeat against the Spaniard in one of the greatest ever matches at Flushing Meadows.
Medvedev, who won his first Masters title last month in Cincinnati, would have also become the first player to win the US Open from two sets behind.
I went out there, I gave everything I could, and I’m proud of myself.
The New York showpiece was the 23-year-old’s fourth final of the North American hard-court summer and he has risen to a career-high world No 4.
“It was an amazing match. It’s an amazing story. All this summer is amazing for me. I will remember every moment of it,” Medvedev said.
“I have a really good memory if we talk about tennis. I’ll definitely remember it even when I’m, like, 70 years old.”
Medvedev insisted he had nothing to lose in his first Grand Slam final after his runs to the final in Washington, Montreal, Cincinnati and at the US Open this summer.
He had become just the third man to achieve that feat but like Ivan Lendl in 1982 and Andre Agassi in 1995, finished as runner-up in New York.
“After the summer I had no fear. I had everything to win. I think it’s Rafa who had something to lose,” added Medvedev.
“I went out there, I gave everything I could, and I’m proud of myself. He was the better one. I have to admit it. I have no regrets.”
Medvedev proud of ‘huge fight’
The Russian joked he had already thought of what to say in his speech during the trophy presentation when he trailed by two sets and a break, before he mounted a spirited fightback on the Arthur Ashe Stadium.
He had previously been booed by the New York crowds during the fortnight for taunting them during his on-court interviews but had them cheering his name as he threatened to produce a memorable comeback win.
Medvedev had break points in the second game of the final set but then fell a double break behind only to have an opportunity to regain parity, before he was eventually beaten on Nadal’s third championship point.
“My wife always tells me that I have to be happy about myself sometimes, because I’m really self-criticising,” said Medvedev.
“For example, I’m not happy to lose, but I have to give myself credit for these two weeks. It’s been amazing.
“Before the tournament, my best result was fourth round of a Grand Slam. I had some physical problems. Sometimes I didn’t play as good as I wanted. But I managed to be in the final. I managed to give a huge fight to one of the best players in the history of our sport.”
Medvedev was bidding to become the first active player not in their thirties to win a Grand Slam title and break the ‘Big Three dominance’ at the majors.