Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic met in their first Major final at the 2010 US Open. Two incredible point guards spent three hours and 43 minutes on the court, and Nadal prevailed 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6 -2 to secure a career Grand Slam at 24!
It was the third consecutive Major crown for the Spaniard, who played at a high level during those two weeks in New York. Nadal dominated on serve and return and dropped just one set in seven meetings to lift the title in style and write history!
Novak prevailed in set number two, but it wasn’t enough to keep him in contention. Rafa sealed the deal in the fourth to start a massive celebration and enter the record books. After the match, Nadal praised Djokovic as the ultimate rival and competitor who is always there to congratulate the opponent if he loses.
Furthermore, Rafa tagged Novak as the future winner of the US Open, which would come to pass just 12 months later. Nadal was the one who had the upper hand in 2010, beating Djokovic for the 15th time in 22 meetings. Novak converted three breaks from just four chances.
It wasn’t enough to keep him safe after losing 42% of the points behind the initial shot and facing no fewer than 25 break points! Going deeper, the Serb erased 20 of them, but the Spaniard created the gap with five breaks on his account.
Rafa played better behind the second serve and had an advantage in shorter and more advanced rallies. Nadal converted a break in the first game of the encounter with a thrilling backhand and sprayed a forehand error in the fourth to lose the lead.
Rafael Nadal defeated Novak Djokovic in the 2010 US Open final.
The Spaniard broke again in game five with a forehand down the line winner. He fired three winners at 4-3 and sealed the set with a hold of 15 in game ten. Djokovic forged a 3-1 lead in the second set and held love to widen the gap and establish a good rhythm.
Nadal pulled back in game seven and brought home the next one with a service winner 4-4. Rain halted action for two hours and Novak broke at 6-5 when they came back to clinch the set and level the overall score. Djokovic played against 11 break points in the third set and couldn’t keep up with Nadal.
The Spaniard earned a break in the third game and served well to take the set 6-4 and move closer to the finish line. With momentum from his side, Rafa stole Novak’s serve at 1-1 and 3-1 in the fourth set to break his resistance and seal the deal on his serve at 5-2.
«The feeling is fantastic. Beating Novak is never easy, and my losses against him speak volumes. I played my best US Open match at the most important moment, which makes me happy. Novak plays aggressive tennis and takes the ball early, and I knew it would be hard for me.
It’s hard to beat him from the baseline as he hits well from both flanks. However, I felt very good on the court from the beginning and tried to keep my intensity and concentration. I knew that Novak would be more tired than me after playing five sets on Saturday.
Still, I had to give it my all to beat him, especially when he plays at his best. I am sure that Novak will win this tournament soon. He plays at an incredible level and I’m sure he can win all the notable events. I wish you all the best; he is a great person and athlete. Despite tough losses, he is always there to congratulate the winner, setting a great example for us,» Rafael Nadal said.