Follow the final LIVE HERE: Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal Live US Open 2013
The Nadal vs Djokovic Head to Head stads at 21-15 in the Spaniard’s favour.
Arthur Ashe Stadium 5pm local time
For the second time in three years, the top two seeds face each other in the Mens US Open Final. It was the same two players on that occasion as Novak Djokovic (Player Bio) defeated Rafael Nadal (Player Bio) in four sets to take his third slam of the year and cap off his extraordinary 2011 season. Before that, the last final containing the top two seeds was between Pete Sampras and Michael Chang in 1996.
Run To The Final
Semi Final Stanislas Wawrinka 2-6 7-6(4) 3-6 6-3 6-4
Quarter Final Mikhail Youzhny 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-0
Fourth Round Marcel Granollers 6-3 6-0 6-0
Third Round Joao Sousa 6-0 6-2 6-2
Second Round Benjamin Becker 7-6(2) 6-2 6-2
First Round Ricardas Berankis 6-1 6-2 6-2
Semi Final Richard Gasquet 6-4 7-6(1) 6-2
Quarter Final Tommy Robredo 6-0 6-2 6-2
Fourth Round Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-7(4) 6-4 6-3 6-1
Third Round Ivan Dodig 6-4 6-3 6-3
Second Round Rogerio Dutra Da Silva 6-2 6-1 6-0
First Round Ryan Harrison 6-4 6-2 6-2
There is no doubt that Nadal’s run to the final has been more emphatic with Nadal dropping just one set to an inspired Philipp Kohlschreiber. Opponents have been blown away for the most part with only the German and Gasquet offering up much of a threat. Gasquet finally ended Nadal’s run of service games without a break in the second set of their encounter and could have made the match very interesting had he managed to convert break points to allow him to serve for the second set but failed to do so.
Meanwhile, Djokovic made it to the second week without much trouble but Youzhny would manage to take advantage of a third set dip to get to the fourth. However, Djokovic bounced back and showed no mercy in handing out a fourth set bagel. One of the top performers of the tournament in Stanislas Wawrinka was awaiting in the semi finals and it was just as tough as predicted. Some outstanding hitting by Wawrinka saw him dominate for much of the first two sets but they would eventually be split as the Swiss could not hold on to a break lead the second time round. He took the third but as time went on the match took its toll on Wawrinka’s body and after a medical timeout he was visibly struggling. He managed to keep it close – the highlight of the fifth set being an enthralling 20 minute game in which Wawrinka eventually held – but Djokovic just managed to close the match out 6-4 in the fifth.
Head to Head
Rafael Nadal leads Novak Djokovic 21-15
This year – Rafael Nadal leads 2-1
On Hard Courts – Novak Djokovic leads 9-4
In Finals – Novak Djokovic leads 8-7
At the US Open – Tied 1-1
After 2011 where Djokovic dominated on all surfaces, the head to head began to swing in his favour although Nadal has reclaimed the advantage by going 5-2 since the start of 2012 with Djokovic winning the Australian Open final and in Monte Carlo to end Nadal’s unbeaten record there.
Despite Nadal winning in Montreal only a few weeks ago, there is no doubt that this is still a close match up on hard courts even with Nadal’s newly found aggression which has led him to his outstanding 21-0 record on hard courts. As great as that record is, Nadal would have been highly favoured in the majority of them and it is easy to overreact to dominating records against lesser players. Outside of Kohlschreiber, three other players have taken sets of Nadal in losses – Del Potro, Djokovic and Gulbis. Gulbis’ level at his best is well documented while it is no surprise that two of the top players in the world would push Nadal close.
If recent slam encounters are anything to go by then it will be tough to see anything other than a marathon match. Both players bring the best tennis out of their opponent – something that it is difficult to say for other matchups between the big four including Federer-Nadal and Djokovic-Murray for the most part. Djokovic needs to avoid a slow start as he did against Wawrinka as just 5 of the 35 matches have been won by the player who lost the first set.
Prediction – Novak Djokovic in 5 sets