The Russian is 1-5 against Nadal and has lost both his Grand Slam finals against him. By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Thursday Septemeber 1, 2022

Flushing Meadows, NY—Four ATP players have a chance to leave the US Open as the No.1-ranked player, and only one player is the true favorite.

Tennis Express

Before you think it’s top-seeded and defending champion Daniil Medvedev, the Russian wants you to know that there’s a certain four-time champion by the name of Nadal who could be considered the favorite to win it all.

“I don't want to put pressure on anybody, but I think Rafa is a big favorite also,” he said on Wednesday night after easing past France’s Arthur Rinderknech in straight sets to reach the third round. “He won the last time he played here against me actually. He won two slams this year. I think Novak is better on grass, but Rafa didn't play. He actually didn't lose in a Grand Slam this year. He retired, which is not the same.”

Medvedev and Nadal met in the 2019 US Open final, and it was the Spaniard who came through in five sets, even though he nearly squandered a two sets to love lead. Nadal also took down Medvedev in this year’s Australian Open final, rallying from two sets down to claim his 21st major title.

That remarkable victory marked the first time a player had recovered from two sets down to win an Australian Open final since 1965.

The Spaniard also pounded his way past Medvedev at Acapulco, 6-3, 6-3 in February, to increase his head-to-head record against Medvedev to 5-1 overall.

“In my opinion Rafa is big, let's call it like this,” Medvedev said. “I don't want to say favorite, big favorite. He's definitely big figure in this tournament.

“Then for sure there are many other good guys. I'm happy to see my name sometimes in the odds or something like this because I'm like, That's great. That means that I play some good tennis. Being amongst the favorites just brings me more motivation to try to do well.”