US Open Tennis 2013: Rafael Nadal Will Get Revenge Against Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic defeated Rafael Nadal the last time they competed in tennis’ U.S. Open, besting him in the 2011 final. But in 2013, Nadal will be too much for the ATP world No. 1.
Nadal has beaten Djokovic in five out of their past six head-to-head matches. In three of those five triumphs, Nadal only needed three sets to walk away with a win. Granted, five of those six matches were on clay, Nadal’s specialty, but their last meeting—the 2013 Rogers Cup—occurred on a hard surface and Nadal still won in three.
Three sets is all Nadal needed to advance past his last two opponents in the semifinals and quarterfinals, as he defeated eighth-seeded Richard Gasquet and 19th-seeded Tommy Robredo.
It was another dominant performance from Rafa, who has been nearly unstoppable in 2013.
Djokovic faced seemingly easier competition, ninth-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka and 21st-seeded Mikhail Youzhny. However, he needed five sets to sneak past the former and four for the latter.
Djokovic will enter the final ranked as the best player on the planet, but he hasn’t played like it. Nadal has, and he boasts nine tournament titles to his name this season.
That includes six out of the past seven that he’s participated in—compared to just three for Djokovic, who hasn’t won one since Monte Carlo.
Will Rafa reclaim his world No. 1 ranking?
And it isn’t like Djokovic has made a habit out of finishing strong in the U.S. Open. The year before his victory in New York City, Nadal defeated him in four sets. When a knee injury forced Nadal to withdraw from last year’s U.S. Open, Andy Murray dethroned Djokovic.
The Serbian’s past performances prove that he isn’t the same force who racked up 16 tournament titles over the previous two seasons. The combination of this and Nadal proving that he's no longer held back by his knees will lead to the Spaniard hoisting the championship trophy.
He hasn’t won a Grand Slam tournament other than the French Open since 2010, but that will change on Monday.
David Daniels is a breaking news writer at Bleacher Report and news editor at Wade-O Radio.
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