No. 2 Rafael Nadal won the 2013 men's singles U.S. Open title on Monday with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory against No. 1 Novak Djokovic. The win was the 13th major championship victory for Nadal and his second at the U.S. Open.
The match went back-and-forth with Nadal looking strong early before Djokovic briefly took the advantage in the middle of the match. In the end, it was Nadal's clean play that helped him prevail. Djokovic was able to break Nadal's serve twice in the second set, but just three times in the entire match. Nadal also limited his mistakes with 53 unforced errors during the match. Djokovic, in comparison, struggled with 20 unforced errors.
Nadal started the match well, dominating the first set en route to a 6-2 victory. He served very well, too, winning 80 percent of his first serves and avoiding being broken on serve. The two traded points early in the second set before Djokovic broke Nadal's serve for the first time to take a 3-2 lead. Nadal broke Djokovic right back before Djokovic broke Nadal's serve for a second straight time. Djokovic went on to win the set 6-3, evening the match. The highlight of the second set was a 54-shot rally that Djokovic eventually won.
The two continued to go back-and-forth in the third set with Nadal eventually prevailing to take the lead in the match back. Unforced errors were an issue for Djokovic throughout the match, but his 17 in the third set were particularly worrisome. Nadal went on to dominate the fourth set, jumping out to a 3-0 lead en route to winning the set 6-1. The match may not have been the instant classic their meeting in the 2010 U.S. Open final was, but it was still a display of the two best players in the world.
Monday's match was the third time Nadal and Djokovic have played for the U.S. Open title in the last four years. Nadal won the first meeting in 2010 before Djokovic claimed the U.S. Open title in 2011. Nadal was in excellent form throughout this year's tournament and his loss in the second set was one of only two sets he lost during the entire tournament.
The runner-up finish was the fourth of Djokovic's career in the U.S. Open.