Eighth seed Richard Gasquet put in a solid performance in his first US Open semi-final, but it was far from enough to upset outstanding Rafael Nadal who entered his eighteenth Grand Slam final and extended his hard-court winning streak to 21 matches.
Rafa stamped his authority on the proceedings straight away by breaking the Frenchman in the opening game. Gasquet missed a single opportunity to break back in the fourth game, but he squandered it and Nadal was leading one set to love after forty-four minutes. The following set again started with Gasquet dropping a serve, yet this time he bounced back and made the Spaniard surrender his first service game at the tournament – it was 2-2. The 27-year-old Frenchman then went on to create a double break point at 4-3, yet Rafa first fired an ace and a service winner before calmly wrapping up the game. Both players held to love just before going to the tie-break, yet the thirteenth game has proved to be completely one-sided with Gasquet opening and closing it with a double fault.
The French number two created a break point in the beginning of the third set after pulling off a powerful backhand winner, but Nadal turned around the game and stole Gasquet’s serve in the follow-up game. He confirmed the break with a hold to love to pave his way to the dream final against Novak Djokovic. The Frenchman, who eliminated Raonic and Ferrer en route to the semis, sealed his own fate by conceding two double faults in a row at 5-2 and let Rafa seize a 6-4, 7-6 (1), 6-2 victory after less than two hours and a half of tennis on Arthur Ashe. Nadal converted all four break points he had produced over the course of the match.
In an on-court interview the US Open 2010 title holder said it is amazing to play on Flushing Meadows courts after missing the last year’s tournament and that he will try to relax before the final clash. He has a 21-15 head-to-head record against Djokovic.
You can follow the final live here: Djokovic vs Nadal Live Coverage US Open 2013 final