2010 US Open Final: Nadal Shows Toughness and Physicality, Completes Career Slam

Michael GathaganContributor ISeptember 14, 2010

     Going into the US Open many felt that Roger Federer would be the favorite to win and get back on track. But Rafael Nadal showed that he is the hardest worker in tennis and overcame Novak Djokovic in a memorable final.

     Although Djokovic was always in the match you just had the feeling that he could never sink his teeth in. He scratched, clawed and fought his way through the match, a match that showed he too has the heart and desire to be a great champion. It seemed that Djokovic was just trying to catch up through the whole match and it just was too much for him to deal with.

     Nadal did what he was supposed to do. He went out and got the job done. Period! But he had to show some of the flash that he showed in his epic matches against Roger Federer. Nadal strategically wore Djokovic down with heavy ground strokes and a very effective slice. With at least a half dozen rallies that went more than twenty shots or more you could see that Nadal's punishing game was taking its tole on Djokovic.

     As the first set neared its finish Nadal showed that his improved serve would be the difference. Djokovic is a great returner and he had no answer for Nadal's new look serve. Nadal seemed to fire his serve at will to any spot in the box and Djokovic did nothing more than swat at it.

     With a set lead it looked like a confident Nadal would make his push to finish off Djokovic for good. But he hung around and late in the set rains came back, and with it came a much needed break for Novak. Refreshed after the two hour delay they came back on court and Djokovic made a strong push to level the set.

     As the third set wore on Nadal quickly regained his control of the match and again began to wear out Djokovic again. Frustration began to creep up on Djokovic and he started to loose his focus. He was hitting shots that would be sure winners but he continually found those shots coming back. Serving for the set Nadal dug deep and hit four amazing serves that had Djokovic shaking his head and his arms in the air in total disbelief.

    With the fourth set came exhaustion for Djokovic. He continued to fire away but his shots just couldn't find their mark. Nadal continued to push the pace of the rallies and Djokovic just didn't have the gas to keep up. On match point Nadal again forced Djokovic to go for too much and gave Nadal salvation.

     This men's final was by all means not the best, not even a good as last years final between Del Potro and Federer, but it was defiantly worth watching. So with this tournament comes many answers but also many questions. Nadal has his career grand slam, what will he do now? Federer again tastes defeat, is this really the end? Djokovic again makes the final only to lose, can he break through? Murray again disappoints with early exit, will he ever be great?

     These are the questions that everyone needs answers to but one question was answered this year. Nadal has shown that his name should be among the greats of the sport and he should be considered one of the greatest players ever.

     Lets hope that next years final can be as good or better than this years.