Djokovic beats Nadal to win 1st US Open
Updated: 2011-09-13 09:36
Novak Djokovic of Serbia holds up his trophy after defeating Rafael Nadal of Spain in the men's final of the US Open tennis tournament in New York, Sept 12, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]
Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts to a missed point against Novak Djokovic of Serbia during the men's final of the US Open tennis tournament in New York, Sept 12, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]
* Djokovic captures third grand slam of 2011
* Nadal beaten by Djokovic for 6th time this year
NEW YORK - Serbia's Novak Djokovic outplayed Spain's Rafa Nadal to win the US Open final 6-2 6-4 6-7 6-1 at Flushing Meadows on Monday and 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.
The win provided Djokovic with his first US Open title after he had twice been beaten in the final, including last year's decider against Nadal, and his third grand slam this year after having won the Australian Open and Wimbledon.
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 in which 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 despite windy conditions at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
To his credit, Nadal fought back gamely to win the third set in a tiebreaker 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.
Novak Djokovic of Serbia kisses the court surface as he celebrates after defeating Rafael Nadal of Spain in the men's final of the US Open tennis tournament in New York, Sept 12, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]
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.
In each of the first two sets, Nadal jumped out to a 2-0 lead, only to be reined in by Djokovic, who kept the Spanish left-hander under constant pressure with some monster returns that landed right at his feet.
Djokovic reeled off six straight games to take the opening set after 53 minutes but found himself down 2-0 again at the start of the second.
He broke back after an epic third game that lasted more than 17 minutes and included eight deuces and led 4-2. Nadal got back to 4-4 but another service break cost him the set.
The third set was the longest, lasting 84 minutes. Both players were broken three times but Djokovic had the chance to serve out the match.
He failed but made amends by racing through the fourth set in 42 minutes to leave no one in doubt that he is the best player in the world.
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