Rafael Nadal beat world number one Novak Djokovic in a pulsating four-set final to claim his second US Open title in New York. The 27 year old Spaniard held on in the third set to go on and win a gripping contest 6-2 3-6 6-4 6-1 in three hours and 21 minutes. One incredible 54-shot rally Â– the longest in the tournament by 20 shots Â– summed up a battle that thrilled the 23,000 spectators in Arthur Ashe Stadium. Nadal has now won 13 Grand Slam singles titles and moves within one of Pete Sampras in the all-time list, with Roger Federer leading on 17. And after missing last yearÂ’s US Open during a seven-month absence with a knee injury, Nadal is now set to regain the number one ranking.
The Spaniard said: Â“For a few reasons, this season is probably the most emotional one in my career. I felt that I did everything right to have my chance here.
Â“You play a match against one of the best players in history like Novak on probably his favourite surface, so I knew I had to be almost perfect to win.
Â“It means a lot for me have this trophy with me today. ItÂ’s just amazing. IÂ’m very, very happy, and I just say thank you very much to everybody who helped me to make that possible. ItÂ’s a really special moment for me.Â”
Nadal now has 13 grand slam titles Â– one adrift of Pete Sampras and four behind Roger Federer Â– after winning for a second time in New York.
He said: Â“I never thought something like this could happen. I was so excited to be back on tour trying to be competitive.
Â“I never thought about competing for all that I competed for this year. All the Masters 1000s, two grand slams. ItÂ’ s just more than a dream for me, and IÂ’m very happy for everything.
Â“I feel very lucky about whatÂ’s happened since I came back.Â”