Takes his second US Open singles title, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 over Novak Djokovic.
In what was widely set up as a battle for dominance at the end of this year, Rafael Nadal beat Novak Djokovic in a four-set war. Most of their battles seem to involve blood, and this was no different, even though it failed to go the distance.
Both seemed to start sharp in the first. Djokovic may have been feeling the effects of the five-set semifinal he played against Stan Wawrinka two days ago, and failed to meet Nadal’s intensity. The Spaniard won the first set, 6-2, with two breaks of serve.
In the second, Djokovic broke early, but Nadal broke straight back. However, the Serbian No. 1 found the intensity he had been lacking and began to run the No. 2 around the court. He broke again at 3-4 to serve for it at 5-3, and won the set. All momentum at this point was in his favor.
To open the third, Djokovic broke at love. While Djokovic seemed to be in control in the early part of the set, Nadal kept up the pressure, broke back, and finally snuck the set out at the last minute: 6-4.
Djokovic initially pressured on the Nadal serve at the beginning of the fourth set, but the Spaniard eventually ran away with it to win the title: 6-1 in the fourth.
Previous to this match, each had won one title at the USO, so the balance now falls in Rafa’s favor. Nadal also lifts his unbroken streak on hard courts this year to 22-0. And, while Djokovic retains his No. 1 status for a short while longer, Nadal has crept up to within 920 points of Novak, with nothing to defend for the rest of the year. The shift at the top seems only a matter of time.