Novak Djokovic beat defending champion Rafael Nadal to win the US Open

Sep 13, 2011

novak djokovic wins us open 
Novak Djokovic beat defending champion and Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 6-1 to win the US Open men's final at Flushing Meadows on Monday.

Djokovic outplayed Nadal to show why he really is the hottest player in the game right now. The world number one produced a masterful display of tactics and precision then regained his composure after failing to serve out the match in the third set to seal victory after four hours and 10 minutes.

Nadal, who was the undisputed king of tennis 12 months ago when he completed his collection of Grand Slam titles at Flushing Meadows, was again left searching for answers after a season inwhich he has lost six finals, including Wimbledon, and the number one ranking to Djokovic.

No matter how hard he tried, Nadal could not find a way to get on top of the Serbian, who played at an
extraordinary high-level despitewindy conditions at Arthur Ashe  Stadium. To his credit, Nadal fought back gamely to win the third set in atiebreaker after Djokovic came  within two points of wrapping up the championship on his own serve.

There were signs of concern for the  Serbian when he called for the trainer to treat his aching back at the start of the fourth set but he  recovered and broke Nadal's opening serve to regain control. After consolidating his lead by holding his next two service games, he broke Nadal's serve again, for the 11th time in the match, the served out victory, collapsing on the court in celebration after smashing a winner past his opponent.

Both players produced some incredible tennis, including some epic rallies that had the center court crowd roaring at the top of the lungs, but it was Djokovic who won all the key moments. This is Djokovic's first US Open title and the third Grand Slam title of the year after victories at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.

Djokovic produced a masterful display of tactics and precision in windy conditions at Arthur Ashe Stadium to seal the victory after more than four hours against thesame man who beat him in last  year's final.

For Nadal, who lost his number one ranking to Djokovic when he was beaten in the Wimbledon final in July, it was his sixth loss to the Serbian this year, all in finals.

Djokovic is the sixth man in history to win three Grand Slam titles in a year after Rod Laver, Jimmy ConnorsMats Wilander, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

A see-sawing third set that lasted 84 minutes was eventually decided in a tiebreaker, which Nadal won 7-3.

Both players were broken three times in the set, which featured some extraordinary rallies that captivated the center court crowd.

Djokovic snatched the early break but could not hold his advantage then he served for the match in the
12th game after breaking Nadal to lead 6-5.  He got to within two points of the championship but Nadal broke him to force a tiebreaker. The Spaniard raced to a 5-1 lead. Djokovic pulled two back to give himself a chance but gifted it to Nadal with an error. The second set started like the first, with Nadal holding and then breaking Djokovic for a 2-0 lead as the world's top two players began engaging in longer, tension-packed rallies.

After a titanic, 17-minute game over eight deuces marked by brilliant shot-making from both players, Djokovic finally broke back by saving himself with a defensive lob that hit the baseline, leading to Nadal failing to resist the sixth break point when he slashed an overhead into the net.

Looking dispirited, Nadal continued to have trouble landing his first serve. Djokovic took advantage to reach double break point at 15-40, then took a 3-2 lead when the Spaniard double faulted. The Spaniard lifted himself back up, breaking Djokovic with a massive backhand passing shot up the line to draw level 4-4.

But for the third straight time in the match, Djokovic answered a service break with one of his own, this time taking advantage of a string of errors, with the game finishing on a mis-hit backhand by Nadal that allowed the Serb to serve out the second set. In the opening set, Djokovic overcame an early service break that
put him behind 2-0 to win 6-2.

Djokovic won the first set 6-2. Both players had difficulty holding serve, with Djokovic doing a better job in windy conditions that topped 15 miles per hour at Arthur Ashe Stadium, winning the last six games of the opening set after falling behind 2-0. Nadal took the early lead by breaking Djokovic in his first service game. The Spaniard scored on a sizzling run-around forehand winner that brushed the lines in the corner and got a 2-0 lead when the Serb made two straight backhand errors.

Second-seeded Nadal failed to consolidate his advantage when Djokovic broke right back in the next game. The Spaniard fell behind 0-4 and saved two break points before sending a forehand long to bring the set back on serve. Nadal kept the pressure on top- seeded Djokovic's serve again in the fourth game but the Serb fought off three break points to hold, then broke the Spaniard for a 3-2 lead by belting an inside-out forehand winner.

Djokovic ended deep-hitting rallies twice with drop-shot winners on his way to breaking Nadal for a third straight time for a 5-2 lead before holding at love in the next game to clinch the first set.