Nadal beats Djokovic 3-1 for his second U.S. Open title

Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates with the trophy during the awarding ceremony after the men's final match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia at the U.S. Open tennis championships in New York, the United States, Sept. 9, 2013. Rafael Nadal won 3-1 in the final on Monday.

No. 2 seed Spaniard Rafael Nadal defeated top-seeded Serb Novak Djokovic 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 to claim his second U.S. Open title on Monday.

It was the 13th overall Grand Slam title for Nadal. The 27-year-old talent had won three consecutive ATP tournaments, and the U.S. Open title was his 10th one, more than Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray combined, in his dominant 2013 season.

Rafael Nadal of Spain raises his trophy after defeating Novak Djokovic of Serbia in their men's final match at the U.S. Open tennis championships in New York, September 9, 2013.

"For me, it's much more than what I ever thought, what I ever dreamed," said Nadal about the 13 Grand Slams.

"I gonna keep doing my things to have more chances in the future to be competitive and to give me -- produce more chances to win the tournament like this one."

It was the 37th meeting in their rivalry, which is the most in the Open Era between two male players. Nadal won 21 of the previous 36 matches.

The No. 2 finished the first break in the third game at the opening set, and broke again in the seventh to win the first set 6-2. Djokovic decided to come back in the second set. He won a 54-shot long rally before breaking Nadal to lead 4-2. Nadal broke back in the seventh game, but Djokovic managed to win the following game, serving out the second set 6-3.

The third set seemed to be in favor of Djokovic when the 26-year-old Serb took a 3-1 lead. Nadal fought back until 4-4, but found himself 40-0 down in the ninth game. However, Djokovic didn't make good use of the three break points, allowing Nadal to catch up until 40-40, then lost the set to fall behind 5-4. Djokovic was leading 30-0 in the tenth game, but Nadal won the following four points to take the third set 6-4.

Djokovic was totally outperformed in the fourth set, dropping serve twice to lose the match 6-1.

"You play one match against one of the best players of the history like this, Novak, No. 1 in the world, probably on his favorite surface," said Nadal.

"I have to be almost perfect to win."

"It's all my fault you know," said Djokovic. "I made some unforced errors in the crucial moments with forehand and dropped the serve twice when I should not have."

"Then he started playing much, much better after that."

Nadal extended his hard court winning streak to 22 matches after Monday's victory.

"13 Grand Slams for a guy who is 27 years old is incredible," said Djokovic about his opponent. "He is definitely one of the best tennis players ever to play the game."

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