Home >Industry >Advertising >Rafael Nadal beats Novak Djokovic at US Open for 13th Grand Slam title

Rafael Nadal moved into third place on the men’s tennis career list with 13 Grand Slam singles titles by defeating Novak Djokovic in the US Open final.

Nadal won 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 against the tournament’s top seed at the National Tennis Center in New York for his first Grand Slam victory outside the French Open in three years.

Djokovic broke Nadal’s serve three straight times in the middle of the match after the 27-year-old Spaniard had lost one service game in six matches leading up to the final. Djokovic was undermined by 53 unforced errors, versus 20 for Nadal.

“Even though I would love to win this match tonight, it was obvious that in important moments he played better tennis," Djokovic said in a news conference. “It’s all my fault, I made some enforced errors in the crucial moments."

The match included a 54-shot rally that gave Djokovic a service break in the second set, and turned again in the third when Nadal saved triple-break point at 4-4 and went on to hold serve. That set ended when Djokovic sent a backhand long, and Nadal crouched at the baseline pumping his fist.

Victory was soon to follow. Nadal broke serve twice in the fourth set and won when Djokovic sent a forehand into the net on the first match point after 3 hours, 21 minutes.

Nadal collected $2.6 million for the victory, plus a $1 million bonus for winning the US Open Series of hard-court tournaments, bringing his career earnings to more than $60.5 million.

“Playing against Novak always is a very special feeling," Nadal said during the trophy ceremony after the record 37th meeting between the pair. “Nobody brings my game to that limit like Novak."

Nadal’s turnaround

Nadal hasn’t lost since being eliminated in the opening round at the previous Grand Slam tournament at Wimbledon in June. The victory tonight also capped a comeback from knee injuries that sidelined Nadal for seven months.

Nadal defeated Djokovic for the US Open title three years ago and lost to him for the 2011 crown. He now trails only Roger Federer (17) of Switzerland and Pete Sampras (14) of the US on the career list, moving one ahead of Roy Emerson of Australia.

The winner of a record eight championships on the red clay of the French Open, Nadal continued his evolution to an all- court winner in New York. He won the 2009 Australian Open on hard courts, and has two titles on grass at Wimbledon.

Nadal’s record

Nadal, who is 22-0 on hard courts this season, captured his 60th career title and improved to 60-3 in 2013. The left-hander raised his record in Grand Slam finals to 13-5 and tied Sampras for third place on the career list with 18 major finals. Only Federer (24) and Ivan Lendl (19) have played in more. Nadal had been tied with Rod Laver at 17.

Djokovic remains No. 1 in the ATP World Tour rankings and Nadal stays at No. 2.

Nadal and Djokovic have now played more times than any other pair in the professional era of tennis. They had been tied with Lendl and John McEnroe, with 36 meetings. Nadal leads the head-to-head contest 22-15.

It also marked the 12th time in the last 15 Grand Slam tournaments that either Nadal (seven titles) or Djokovic (five) has won the championship.

Djokovic, 26, from Serbia, was seeking his second US Open championship and his seventh Grand Slam title. He reached the final of three major championships in 2013 for the third consecutive year, winning his third straight Australian Open at the beginning of the year.

One-two

The final was the second in 17 years between the top two US Open men’s seeds. In 2011, Djokovic also was No. 1 and Nadal was No. 2. The previous 1-2 match was in 1996 between Americans Sampras, ranked No. 1, and Michael Chang.

Nadal now is four Grand Slam titles behind Federer’s record, and the Spaniard is five years younger. They are the only active men with a career Grand Slam—at least one win at each of the four majors. Tonight’s victory will feed the debate about who will have the greater legacy.

Federer, 32, whose No. 7 seed this year was his worst at the US Open since 2002, lost in straight sets in the fourth round to 19th-seeded Tommy Robredo of Spain. If he had won that match, Federer would have faced Nadal in the quarterfinals—their first career meeting at the US Open.

Women’s top seed Serena Williams enhanced her own legacy with a fifth US Open singles title on Monday, defeating Victoria Azarenka 7-5, 6-7 (6-8), 6-1 in another match of the top two players in the world rankings.

It was the 17th career Grand Slam singles title for the 31- year-old American, leaving her five behind Steffi Graf’s record of 22 for tennis’ professional era that began in 1968. She is one behind Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova.

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