US OPEN 2011
Djokovic Dethrones Nadal, Captures Fourth Major Title
New York, U.S.A.
by ATP Staff|
ATP World Tour No. 1 Novak Djokovic captured his 10th piece of silverware in what has been a remarkable season as he beat defending champion Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-1 in the US Open final on Monday in New York.
It is the sixth time this season that Djokovic has beaten Nadal, with all of their contests coming in finals. He defeated Nadal in the finals of ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events in Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid and Rome, before dethroning the Spaniard at Wimbledon. It was the first US Open final to feature the world’s Top 2 players since 1995.
Upon being announced as the 24th different US Open champion, Djokovic said, "It really sounds unreal; it's an incredible feeling. I 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. I wish that we will 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."
After victories at the Australian Open (d. Murray) and Wimbledon earlier in the year, Djokovic becomes the sixth man in the Open Era to win three Grand Slam championships in the same season. The 24-year-old Serbian captured his fourth major title overall, having also triumphed at the 2008 Australian Open (d. Tsonga).
It is the first time that Djokovic has laid his hands on the US Open trophy, having twice before finished runner-up. In his first major final in 2007, he lost out to Federer, and he was beaten in four sets by Nadal last year as the Spaniard completed the career Grand Slam.
As he did in 2010, Djokovic reached the final at Flushing Meadows after saving two match points to defeat Federer in a five-set epic in the semi-finals. The Belgrade native rallied from two sets down for the second time in his career, and saved two match points when Federer led 5-3, 40/15 in the fifth set.
He is the first man to go on to win a Grand Slam championship after saving match point since Marat Safin won the 2005 Australian Open (d. Hewitt) having saved match point against Federer in the semi-finals.
Djokovic has compiled a staggering 64-2 mark in 2011, including a perfect 41-0 start to the season which ended in defeat to Federer in the Roland Garros semi-finals. The Serb’s only other defeat this season came against Andy Murray in the Cincinnati final, where he retired with a shoulder injury.
The 25-year-old Nadal was bidding to win his 11th major title and second of the season after capturing a record-equalling sixth Roland Garros crown (d. Federer) in June. The left-hander has been left in the shadows by Djokovic this season, but has still compiled extremely strong results, recording a 59-11 win-loss mark and reaching nine tour-level finals (3-6 record).
"Obviously I'm disappointed," said Nadal. "This guy is doing unbelievable things, so I just want to congratulate Novak. What he did this year is probably impossible to repeat. I tried my best in every moment.
"These kind of matches are very difficult, they bring your body to the limit. I think I tried to play aggressive, but he always made a fantastic comeback. I'm happy about what I did. I ran to every ball. I fought until the last ball. This year I've lost a lot of finals against him. I have to accept I won a lot in the past and the only thing I can do is to try my best every day to keep improving."
It is only the fourth Grand Slam final Nadal has lost. His three previous runner-up finishes all came at Wimbledon, losing to Federer in the 2006-2007 finals before succumbing to Djokovic as defending champion this year.