U.S Open tennis 2013: Rafael Nadal wins men’s championship (PHOTOS)

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  • Rafael Nadal, of Spain, checks the scoreboard between points against Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, during the men's singles final of the 2013 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Sept. 9, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Rafael Nadal, of Spain, checks the scoreboard between points against Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, during the men's singles final of the 2013 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Sept. 9, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Photo by: Charles Krupa
  • Rafael Nadal, of Spain, reacts after defeating Novak Djokovic, of Serbia 2013 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) Rafael Nadal, of Spain, reacts after defeating Novak Djokovic, of Serbia 2013 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) Photo by: Julio Cortez
  • Rafael Nadal, of Spain, reacts after a point against Novak Djokovic, of Serbia (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Rafael Nadal, of Spain, reacts after a point against Novak Djokovic, of Serbia (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Photo by: Charles Krupa
  • Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, returns a shot to Rafael Nadal, of Spain. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings) Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, returns a shot to Rafael Nadal, of Spain. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings) Photo by: Darron Cummings
  • Rafael Nadal, of Spain, returns a shot to Novak Djokovic, of Serbia  2013 U.S. Open tennis tournament. (AP Photo/David Goldman) Rafael Nadal, of Spain, returns a shot to Novak Djokovic, of Serbia 2013 U.S. Open tennis tournament. (AP Photo/David Goldman) Photo by: David Goldman
  • Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, reacts after a long point against Rafael Nadal. (AP Photo/David Goldman) Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, reacts after a long point against Rafael Nadal. (AP Photo/David Goldman) Photo by: David Goldman
  • Rafael Nadal, of Spain, reacts after a point against Novak Djokovic, of Serbia. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Rafael Nadal, of Spain, reacts after a point against Novak Djokovic, of Serbia. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Photo by: Charles Krupa
  • Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, returns a shot at the net to Rafael Nadal, of Spain (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, returns a shot at the net to Rafael Nadal, of Spain (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Photo by: Charles Krupa
  • Rafael Nadal, of Spain, checks the scoreboard between points against Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, during the men's singles final of the 2013 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Sept. 9, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Rafael Nadal, of Spain, checks the scoreboard between points against Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, during the men's singles final of the 2013 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Sept. 9, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Photo by: Charles Krupa
  • Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, returns a shot to Rafael Nadal, of Spain 2013 U.S. Open tennis tournament. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings) Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, returns a shot to Rafael Nadal, of Spain 2013 U.S. Open tennis tournament. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings) Photo by: Darron Cummings
  • Rafael Nadal, of Spain, reacts after winning the third set against Novak Djokovic 2013 U.S. Open tennis tournament, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) Rafael Nadal, of Spain, reacts after winning the third set against Novak Djokovic 2013 U.S. Open tennis tournament, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) Photo by: Julio Cortez
  • Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, reacts after a point to Rafael Nadal, of Spain. (AP Photo/David Goldman) Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, reacts after a point to Rafael Nadal, of Spain. (AP Photo/David Goldman) Photo by: David Goldman
  • Rafael Nadal, of Spain, returns a shot to Novak Djokovic, of Serbiab2013 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Sept. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Rafael Nadal, of Spain, returns a shot to Novak Djokovic, of Serbiab2013 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Sept. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Photo by: Charles Krupa
  • Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, returns a shot to Rafael Nadal, of Spain. (AP Photo/David Goldman) Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, returns a shot to Rafael Nadal, of Spain. (AP Photo/David Goldman) Photo by: David Goldman
  • The feet of Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, leave the ground as he serves against Rafael Nadal, of Spain. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings) The feet of Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, leave the ground as he serves against Rafael Nadal, of Spain. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings) Photo by: Darron Cummings
  • Rafael Nadal, of Spain, reacts after a point to Novak Djokovic, of Serbia (AP Photo/Darron Cummings) Rafael Nadal, of Spain, reacts after a point to Novak Djokovic, of Serbia (AP Photo/Darron Cummings) Photo by: Darron Cummings
  • Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, returns a shot to Rafael Nadal, of Spain. (AP Photo/Mike Groll) Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, returns a shot to Rafael Nadal, of Spain. (AP Photo/Mike Groll) Photo by: Mike Groll
  • Rafael Nadal, of Spain, returns a shot to Novak Djokovic, of Serbia 2013 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Sept. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/David Goldman) Rafael Nadal, of Spain, returns a shot to Novak Djokovic, of Serbia 2013 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Sept. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/David Goldman) Photo by: David Goldman
  • Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, returns a shot to Rafael Nadal, of Spain  2013 U.S. Open tennis tournament  (AP Photo/Darron Cummings) Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, returns a shot to Rafael Nadal, of Spain 2013 U.S. Open tennis tournament (AP Photo/Darron Cummings) Photo by: Darron Cummings
  • Rafael Nadal, of Spain, follows through on a shot to Novak Djokovic, of Serbia (AP Photo/Darron Cummings) Rafael Nadal, of Spain, follows through on a shot to Novak Djokovic, of Serbia (AP Photo/Darron Cummings) Photo by: Darron Cummings
  • Rafael Nadal, of Spain, serves against Novak Djokovic, of Serbia (AP Photo/David Goldman) Rafael Nadal, of Spain, serves against Novak Djokovic, of Serbia (AP Photo/David Goldman) Photo by: David Goldman
  • Rafael Nadal, of Spain, returns a shot to Novak Djokovic, of Serbia,  2013 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Sept. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/David Goldman) Rafael Nadal, of Spain, returns a shot to Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, 2013 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Sept. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/David Goldman) Photo by: David Goldman
  • Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, returns a shot to Rafael Nadal, of Spain. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, returns a shot to Rafael Nadal, of Spain. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Photo by: Charles Krupa
  • Rafael Nadal, of Spain, falls to the court as he misses a shot to Novak Djokovic in New York. (AP Photo/David Goldman) Rafael Nadal, of Spain, falls to the court as he misses a shot to Novak Djokovic in New York. (AP Photo/David Goldman) Photo by: David Goldman
  • Rafael Nadal, of Spain, reacts after a point to Novak Djokovic, of Serbia. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Rafael Nadal, of Spain, reacts after a point to Novak Djokovic, of Serbia. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Photo by: Charles Krupa
  • Rafael Nadal, of Spain, returns a shot to Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, during the men's singles final of the 2013 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Sept. 9, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings) Rafael Nadal, of Spain, returns a shot to Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, during the men's singles final of the 2013 U.S. Open tennis tournament, Monday, Sept. 9, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings) Photo by: Darron Cummings
  • Rafael Nadal, of Spain, moves in to drop a shot over the net against Novak Djokovic, of Serbia (AP Photo/Mike Groll) Rafael Nadal, of Spain, moves in to drop a shot over the net against Novak Djokovic, of Serbia (AP Photo/Mike Groll) Photo by: Mike Groll
  • Rafael Nadal, of Spain, holds up the championship trophy after beating Novak Djokovic, of Serbia. 2013 U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York. (AP Photo/David Goldman) Rafael Nadal, of Spain, holds up the championship trophy after beating Novak Djokovic, of Serbia. 2013 U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York. (AP Photo/David Goldman) Photo by: David Goldman
  • Actor Edward Norton, left, watches play between Spain's Rafael Nadal and Serbia's Novak Djokovic (AP Photo/David Goldman) Actor Edward Norton, left, watches play between Spain's Rafael Nadal and Serbia's Novak Djokovic (AP Photo/David Goldman) Photo by: David Goldman
  • Justin Timberlake, left, watches play between Rafael Nadal, of Spain, and Novak Djokovic (AP Photo/David Goldman) Justin Timberlake, left, watches play between Rafael Nadal, of Spain, and Novak Djokovic (AP Photo/David Goldman) Photo by: David Goldman
  • Rafael Nadal, of Spain, left, and Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, pose for a photo with former Australian professional tennis star Rod Laver (AP Photo/David Goldman) Rafael Nadal, of Spain, left, and Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, pose for a photo with former Australian professional tennis star Rod Laver (AP Photo/David Goldman) Photo by: David Goldman

SAN DIEGO, September 9, 2013 – The same windy conditions and the same comeback style of play that made Sunday’s women’s singles final so exciting also played a major role in the U.S. Open tennis tournament’s men’s singles final.

Although Novak Djokovic gave his opponent a real scare, Rafael Nadal held on to prevail, winning after returning from injury to take the title over the current number one ranked player Djokovic, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.


SEE RELATED: U.S. Open tennis 2013: Serena Williams wins 5th women’s title (PHOTOS)


Rafael Nadal holds up the championship trophy after beating Novak Djokovic during the men’s singles final of the 2013 U.S. Open tennis tournament Monday. AP Photo/David Goldman

Nadal came on strong in the first set and it seemed he would have an easy time with Djokovic. Then a turnaround came during a 54 shot rally that electrified the fans and got them behind Djokovic, who won the point. Djokovic knows how to work a crowd and he engaged them to help the momentum turn in his favor.

Djokovic broke Nadal’s service for the first time in the match in the second set, allowing him to serve for the set win. He broke Nadal’s serve again in the first game of the third set, and at this point an hour and 46 minutes into the match, Nadal started to show some signs of fatigue. It’s been a long tournament for both men.

But Nadal was not giving up. He battled back to even the third set at four games apiece. Nadal held serve in a hard-fought nine and a half minute game which included the match’s fastest service ace, 125 mile per hour, punctuated by a slam that got the already excited crowd to its feet. Would the momentum of the match swing back to Rafa again?

It did. He won the third set, and in the fourth set he seemed to break Djokovic’s will. Nadal was most effective coming into the net. Like Victoria Azarenka in the women’s game Sunday, Nadal played exceptionally well when he came forward. Djokovic also helped with too many unforced errors, mainly due to returns going wide or long. Symbolic of the victory, the championship point came for Nadal when Djokovic returns a shot into the net.

Rafael Nadal returns a shot to Novak Djokovic during the men’s singles final of the 2013 U.S. Open tennis tournament Monday. AP Photo/David Goldman

One year ago, Nadal was watching the tournament on television at home after a knee injury Today, upon winning his second U.S.Open championship and his 13th Grand Slam championship overall, Nadal fell to the ground, emotional after winning about all it meant to him.

Nadal served harder, took more chances, moved faster and got the breaks. He broke Djokovic seven times in all; Djokovic broke Nadal only three times.

Djokovic told Mary Carillo of CBS, “I want to congratulate Rafa and his team. He was too good, he definitely deserved to win this match today and this trophy. Obviously it is disappointing to lose a match like this. But it was a huge privilege and honor to be fighting for this trophy, one of the most important and valuable in our sport. I will definately be coming back next year,” said Djokovic.

Nadal said, “I was very very emotional. When I play against Novak it always is a very special feeling. Nobody brings me to my limit like Novak.” Fans hope to see both these players battle again in the years to come.

As the winner, Nadal received $2.6 million prize money and earned $1 million from the Emirates Airlines bonus competition. It’s all but certain Nadal will return to the number one ranking based on his outstanding play in the U.S. Open capped by his impressive victory.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She covers the Sweet Science for Communities, along with other news in the sports world. Read Ringside Seat in Communities at Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.

Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities at WashingtonTimes.com” when quoting from or linking to this story.  

Copyright © 2013 by Falcon Valley Group


This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Gayle Falkenthal

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, MS, APR, is President of the Falcon Valley Group, a San Diego based communications consulting firm. Falkenthal is a veteran award winning broadcast and print journalist, editor, producer, talk host and commentator. She is an instructor at National University in San Diego, and previously taught in the School of Journalism & Media Studies at San Diego State University.

 

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