Rafael Nadal vs. Novak Djokovic: Full Preview for 2013 US Open Men's Final

Kyle NewportFeatured ColumnistSeptember 9, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07:  Rafael Nadal of Spain plays a forehand during his men's singles semifinal match against Richard Gasquet of France on Day Thirteen of the 2013 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2013 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

It's the matchup everyone has wanted to see, so here's a preview of the men's 2013 U.S. Open final between No. 1 Novak Djokovic and No. 2 Rafael Nadal.

Both competitors were able to get past their opponents in the semifinals, but they weren't the matchups everyone had expected. Neither Andy Murray nor David Ferrer made it to the semifinals, so the top players lucked out.

The 2013 U.S. Open should conclude with an epic showdown between the world's top players. Their rivalry has shifted in Nadal's favor in recent meetings, so Djokovic will need to be on top of his game.

Here is the important information for the final:

Who: No. 1 Novak Djokovic vs. No. 2 Rafael Nadal

Where: New York City, N.Y.

When: Monday, Sept. 9, 5 p.m. ET 



The previous rounds will come into play. The players took different paths to the final, and one may be more rested than the other. Let's take a look at how they got to this point.



For a record-breaking 37th time, Djokovic and Nadal will meet on the court. Nadal currently owns a 21-15 advantage in the series, and he won five of the past six meetings, including two in a row.

Djokovic defeated Nadal in the 2011 U.S. Open final, but Nadal won the only other meeting at this event.

If Djokovic is going to win, he is going to have to do something nobody has done this year: beat Nadal on a hard surface. Nadal is a perfect 21-0 on hard courts this year, and the 27-year-old is dominating his opponents.

He has dropped only one set in this tournament, and that came in a tiebreaker. The left-hander got some help along the way, as upsets have knocked out his top competitors in each of the last three rounds.

Djokovic, on the other hand, did not lose a set until the third set of the quarterfinals. He has won only four of his last seven sets, so he has shown some vulnerability in recent rounds. The right-hander cruised through the first four rounds, but he had to go to five sets against No. 9 Stanislas Wawrinka in the semifinals.

His five-set match took a lot of energy, whereas Nadal has had plenty of time to rest by winning easily in every round.

Djokovic is chasing his seventh Grand Slam title and his second at the U.S. Open. The 26-year-old is making his third consecutive (and fifth overall) appearance in the U.S. Open final, and he is 1-3 in those finals. The No. 1 player in the world is 1-1 in Grand Slam finals this year.

Nadal is looking for his 13th Grand Slam title, which would also be his second at the U.S. Open. He is 1-1 in U.S. Open finals, but he hasn't appeared in one since 2011. 

It will be a match of two players playing at a high level, and Nadal has been unbeatable on hard courts this year. He is more rested heading into the final, so he appears to have the edge in this matchup.

Tennis doesn't get any better than this, so enjoy another classic match.


*All infomation is courtesy of ATPWorldTour.com