Djokovic beats Nadal – wins 1st US Open title

World #1 Novak Djokovic punctuated a remarkable season by beating #2 Rafael Nadal to win the 2011 US Open in four sets 6-2, 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-1. This is Djokovic’s sixth win over Nadal this year, and all wins have occurred in championship matches including the finals of Wimbledon. Djokovic won his 10th title of the season and brings home a total of $2.3 million – $1.8 for the US Open title, and an additional $500,000 for placing second in the US Open series. He improved his season record to an incredible 64-2 win-loss record. His victory at the US Open assured him of the year-end world #1 ranking.

In his winner’s speech, Djokovic commented on his incredible season and on winning the US Open title for the first time. “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.”

Nadal was going for his 11th major title but failed to defend his US Open title. He is now 3-6 in final matches this year, all six losses coming from Djokovic. The loss was also Nadal’s fourth loss at a Grand Slam final – his second major final loss to Djokovic. He takes home $900,000 for finishing as runner-up. “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.

Nadal vs Djokovic – US Open Final Match-up

It’s a fitting end to the Grand Slam season with world #1 Nadal Djokovic going against #2 Rafael Nadal for the US Open championship title. Djokovic and Nadal had contrasting semifinal victories – Djokovic came back from a two-set deficit and saved two match points to beat 16-time grand slam champion Roger Federer while Nadal beat Andy Murray in a straight forward 4-set victory. The two rivals will be meeting for the 29th time. While Nadal leads their current head-to-head with 16 wins against 12 losses, Djokovic has compiled an amazing 63-2 win-loss season so far – including beating Nadal in all five championship matches they’ve played this year. Their last meeting was at the Wimbledon final where Djokovic won in four sets on his way to collecting his third grand slam title. Djokovic will be going for his 10th tournament victory this year while Nadal will collect his fourth if he wins the match. The winner will go home with $1.8 million.

This 29th meeting will be a rematch of last year’s US Open final where Nadal beat Djokovic in four sets. At that time, Nadal was the #1 player in the world while Djokovic was #3.

Djokovic on playing Nadal: “You know, I know that I have a game that is good enough to win against him. I proved that this year in three different surfaces, so I believe that I have a good chance. I need to go out on the court believing I can win. But, you know, we’re talking about a player who has won 10 majors already in his career and he’s only 25. He’s defending his title. I think last year in 2010 throughout the whole tournament and in the finals I never seen him serve better than that tournament. So I think, you know, again, depends from my serve and his serve, as well. But, yeah, it’s gonna be a tough match.”

Nadal on playing Djokovic: “I think I gonna do serve and volley. (Laughter.) You know, I have my game, and I beat him in the past playing my game. The thing is play my game very well and be enough strong mentally all the time, fight every ball, believe in the victory in every moment. That’s something that for moments this year I didn’t. But just play aggressive, try to play a similar match than last year here. I saw that match a lot of times and I know what I have to do, but I don’t know if I gonna be able to do it. So that’s always the same.”

#1 Novak Djokovic – path to 2011 US Open Final:

SF: bt R.FEDERER [3] 6-7(7) 4-6 6-3 6-2 7-5
QF: bt J.TIPSAREVIC [20] 7-6(2) 6-7(3) 6-0 3-0 Ret.
4R: bt A.DOLGOPOLOV [22] 7-6(14) 6-4 6-2
3R: bt N.DAVYDENKO 6-3 6-4 6-2
2R: bt C.BERLOCQ 6-0 6-0 6-2
1R: bt C. NILAND 6-0 5-1 Ret.

#2 Rafael Nadal – path to 2011 US Open Final:

SF: bt A.MURRAY [4] 6-4 6-2 3-6 6-2
QF: bt A.RODDICK [21] 6-2 6-1 6-3
4R: bt G.MULLER 7-6(1) 6-1 6-2
3R: bt D.NALBANDIAN 7-6(5) 6-1 7-5
2R: bt N.MAHUT 6-2 6-2 Ret.
1R: bt A.GOLUBEV 6-3 7-6(1) 7-5

Nadal vs Djokovic: Head to Head (Nadal leads Djokovic: 16-12)

Year Tournament City
Surface Round Winner  Score

2011 Wimbledon Great Britain
Grass F Djokovic, Novak 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3

2011 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome Italy
Clay F Djokovic, Novak 6-4, 6-4

2011 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid Spain
Clay F Djokovic, Novak 7-5, 6-4

2011 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami FL, U.S.A.
Hard F Djokovic, Novak 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(4)

2011 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Indian Wells CA, U.S.A.
Hard F Djokovic, Novak 4-6, 6-3, 6-2

2010 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals London, England
Hard RR Nadal, Rafael 7-5, 6-2

2010 US Open NY, U.S.A.
Hard F Nadal, Rafael 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2

2009 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals London, England
Hard RR Djokovic, Novak 7-6(5), 6-3

2009 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Paris France
Hard S Djokovic, Novak 6-2, 6-3

2009 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Cincinnati OH, U.S.A.
Hard S Djokovic, Novak 6-1, 6-4

2009 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid Spain
Clay S Nadal, Rafael 3-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(9)

2009 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome Italy
Clay F Nadal, Rafael 7-6(2), 6-2

2009 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Monte Carlo Monaco
Clay F Nadal, Rafael 6-3, 2-6, 6-1

2009 ESP vs. SRB WG 1st RD Spain
Clay RR Nadal, Rafael 6-4, 6-4, 6-1

2008 Beijing Olympics China
Hard S Nadal, Rafael 6-4, 1-6, 6-4

2008 ATP Masters Series Cincinnati OH, U.S.A.
Hard S Djokovic, Novak 6-1, 7-5

2008 London / Queen’s Club Great Britain
Grass F Nadal, Rafael 7-6(6), 7-5

2008 Roland Garros France
Clay S Nadal, Rafael 6-4, 6-2, 7-6(3)

2008 ATP Masters Series Hamburg Germany
Clay S Nadal, Rafael 7-5, 2-6, 6-2

2008 ATP Masters Series Indian Wells CA, U.S.A.
Hard S Djokovic, Novak 6-3, 6-2

2007 Tennis Masters Cup China
Hard RR Nadal, Rafael 6-4, 6-4

2007 ATP Masters Series Canada Canada
Hard S Djokovic, Novak 7-5, 6-3

2007 Wimbledon Great Britain
Grass S Nadal, Rafael 3-6, 6-1, 4-1 RET

2007 Roland Garros France
Clay S Nadal, Rafael 7-5, 6-4, 6-2

2007 ATP Masters Series Rome Italy
Clay Q Nadal, Rafael 6-2, 6-3

2007 ATP Masters Series Miami FL, U.S.A.
Hard Q Djokovic, Novak 6-3, 6-4

2007 ATP Masters Series Indian Wells CA, U.S.A.
Hard F Nadal, Rafael 6-2, 7-5

2006 Roland Garros France
Clay Q Nadal, Rafael 6-4, 6-4 RET