NEW YORK (AP) - Rafael Nadal's 19th Grand Slam trophy went from inevitable to suddenly in doubt in a thrill-a-minute U.S. Open final.
What had all the makings of a casual crowning morphed into a grueling contest thanks to Nadal's opponent, Daniil Medvedev, a man a decade younger and appearing in his first major title match. Down by two sets and a break, Medvedev shifted styles, upped his level against a rattled Nadal - and even received an unexpected boost from the Arthur Ashe Stadium spectators.
Truly tested for the only time in the tournament, the No. 2-seeded Nadal managed to stop Medvedev's surge Sunday and hold off his historic comeback bid, pulling out a 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4 victory in 4 hours, 50 minutes of highlight-worthy action and Broadway-worthy drama to collect his fourth championship at Flushing Meadows.
"One of the most emotional nights of my tennis career," said Nadal, who covered his face with his hands while crying when arena video boards showed clips from each of his Slam triumphs.
"The last three hours of the match have been very, very intense, no?" Nadal said. "Very tough mentally and physically, too."
Now at 19 majors - a total Medvedev called "outrageous" - Nadal is merely one away from rival Roger Federer's record for men.
But this one did not come easily. Not at all.
Sure seemed it might, with Nadal ahead by two sets and a break in the third at 3-2, playing like "a beast out there," as the No. 5-seeded Medvedev put it.
At that moment, Medvedev would joke afterward, this is where his thoughts were: "OK, in 20 minutes I have to give a speech. What do I say?"
But the 23-year-old from Russia did not go gently into the night. He broke right back to 3-all, then again to claim that set and yet again to end the fourth.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - Atlanta Falcons receiver Julio Jones got his long-awaited contract extension Saturday, agreeing to a three-year, $66 million deal one day before the season opener.
The extension is nearly fully guaranteed when he signs. It locks in Jones through the 2023 season and removes a potentially major headache for the Falcons before Sunday's game at Minnesota.
The deal was announced as the team was departing for Minneapolis.
BOSTON (AP) - The Boston Red Sox have parted ways with president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski
Red Sox spokesman Kevin Gregg made the announcement Sunday night, shortly after the New York Yankees beat Boston 10-5.
A veteran baseball executive who built a World Series champion in Miami and helped the Tigers reach the Series twice, Dombrowski was brought in to steady the Red Sox front office in 2015 with the team in the middle of back-to-back last-place finishes.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Minnesota Twins pitcher Michael Pineda was suspended for 60 games Saturday for taking a diuretic, a big blow to the rotation of a first-place team heading toward the postseason.
Major League Baseball said Pineda tested positive for the banned substance and the suspension takes effect immediately.
Pineda, 6-foot-7 and 280 pounds, said in a statement he took an over-the-counter medication given to him by an acquaintance to help manage his weight.
HOYLAKE, England (AP) - Cole Hammer finally got a point with the shortest match. John Pak completed a perfect week. John Augenstein delivered the clinching point.
And for the first time in 12 years, the Americans celebrated a Walker Cup victory away from home.
Facing a two-point deficit at the start of Sunday, the Americans picked up a point in morning foursomes and then overwhelmed Great Britain & Ireland by taking eight of 10 singles matches for a 15 1/2-10 1/2 victory at Royal Liverpool.