Superb Nole tops Nadal, wins first US Open title!


Photo: Getty Images

Impressive Nole is the new US Open champion!

Amazing season continues…magnificent performance for tenth title in 2011 and 28th career trophy!

In a remarkable Monday for Novak Djokovic, the top-seeded Serb lifted his first US Open trophy at third attempt after defeating no.2 seed and defending champion Spaniard Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-1 in 4 hours and 10 minutes in the final in New York.

It is the sixth time this year that Djokovic and Nadal have played the championship match, and again it was Nole who emerged superior, winning his fourth career Grand Slam.

Nole and Rafa met for the 29th time. They produced astonishing tennis in classic final with epic rallies that brought the fans at the packed stadium to their feet.

Novak walked into Arthur Ashe Stadium wearing a cap adorned with the New York City fire department logo (FDNY), paying tribute to September 11.

In each of the first two sets, Nadal had a 2-0 lead, but Nole came back strong and won both.

In the opening set, Djokovic won six straight games to take it 6-2 in 53 minutes.

Nole found himself down 0-2 again at the start of the second set. He broke back after an epic third game that lasted more than 17 minutes and included eight deuces. The Belgrade native used his sixth break point opportunity and then held to level the result. He broke Nadal’s serve once again and consolidated the break for 4-2 lead. Rafa made a break in the eighth game but Novak kept him under constant pressure with some brilliant returns and won two games in a row to clinch the set 6-4.

The third set was the longest, it lasted 84 minutes. Novak was a break up three times and had a chance to serve out the match at 6-5, but Nadal fought back and secured a tie-breaker. The Spaniard won it 7-3.

Nole regained his composure in the fourth set. He held in the opening game before taking a medical timeout to treat his aching back. After that he broke Nadal twice, in the second and sixth games and served out the set and match 6-1 to lift his maiden US Open trophy.

Novak has closed the gap on Nadal’s lead in their head-to-head series, beating the Spaniard in their past six meetings to narrow it to 16-13.

The Serbian star improved to 64-2 on the year and confirmed his status as the world’s best player with a stunning victory. He now holds the Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open titles.

“It really sounds unreal. It’s an incredible feeling,” Novak said at the ceremony.

“I’ve had an amazing year and it keeps going. Every time I play Rafa, it’s a big challenge. I want to congratulate him on a great tournament again and I wish that we have many more tough matches in the upcoming years. It’s an absolute pleasure to be a part of the very few players that have won this trophy throughout history.”

“Obviously I’m disappointed now but Novak’s done unbelievable things, so I just want to congratulate him. What he did this year is probably impossible to repeat.” Nadal said. “I tried my best in every moment. These kind of matches are very difficult, it brings your body to the limit. I tried to play crazy but he always makes fantastic comebacks.”

Match statistics: aces (7-2), double faults (1-3), winners (55-32), unforced errors (51-37).

Novak converted 11 of his 26 break points, while the Spaniard capitalised on 6 of his 14 chances for break.

At the age of 24, Nole became just the sixth men in the Open era to win three majors in a season, joining Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Mats Wilander, Jimmy Connors and Rod Laver.

Congratulations Nole!



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