Skip to main content

Novak Djokovic to play Rafael Nadal in U.S. Open final

updated 7:25 PM EDT, Sat September 7, 2013
Novak Djokovic celebrates after reaching the U.S. Open for the fourth year in a row, and fifth time overall. Novak Djokovic celebrates after reaching the U.S. Open for the fourth year in a row, and fifth time overall.
HIDE CAPTION
Djokovic to face Nadal in final
Djokovic to face Nadal in final
Djokovic to face Nadal in final
Djokovic to face Nadal in final
<<
<
1
2
3
4
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • World No. 1 Novak Djokovic battles to a place in Monday's U.S. Open final
  • The 2011 winner beats Stanislas Wawrinka in a grueling five-set encounter
  • He will next play Rafael Nadal, who beat him in the 2010 final in New York
  • World No. 2 Nadal defeats Richard Gasquet in straight sets in second semi

(CNN) -- Novak Djokovic ensured he will remain world No. 1 next week after overcoming a titanic challenge from Stanislas Wawrinka to reach the U.S. Open final for the fourth year in a row.

The 10th-ranked Swiss ended Andy Murray's title defense in the quarterfinals, and seemed set to inflict another major upset after winning the opening set in convincing style.

But last year's runner-up Djokovic twice came from a set down to take Saturday's opening semifinal to a decider before triumphing 2-6 7-6 (7-4) 3-6 6-3 6-4.

The Serbian will face Rafael Nadal in Monday's final -- a rematch of their 2010 and 2011 title clashes -- after the world No. 2 beat his childhood friend Richard Gasquet 6-4 7-6 (7-1) 6-2 in the second semi.

However, the Spaniard should have less fatigue to overcome before then -- he needed just two hours 21 minutes to beat the French eighth seed, while Djokovic was on court for just over four hours in a grueling contest.

Andy Murray knocked out of U.S. Open
Secret to beating tennis' big four
'Golden Bear' on tennis love

He edged Wawrinka in a five-hour epic in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open in January before claiming his sixth grand slam title, but lost to Murray in the Wimbledon final in July after being drained by a five-set semi against Juan Martin del Potro.

Djokovic acknowledged that he had struggled to impose himself in the match against Wawrinka.

"It was obvious Stan played more aggressive. He played better tennis," he said. "I was trying to hang in there, to adjust.

"It was tough on both of us. I had to run a lot. I had to find my rhythm. I was just so fortunate to play my best tennis when I needed to."

Wawrinka said he was struggling physically with an injury picked up earlier in the New York tournament, where he reached the last four of a grand slam for the first time.

"Today I had the feeling when I was still fit, when I was still healthy, I had the match in control. I think I was playing better than him. I was doing much more things than him," the 28-year-old told reporters.

"But he's not No. 1 for nothing. He was staying with me all the match, and at the end he pushed me, pushed me far, far, far back. I had to find everything I had in my body today to stay with him, and he won the match."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:20 AM EDT, Wed April 2, 2014
At the 2009 Australian Open, French men's tennis was the talk of the town.
updated 2:00 PM EDT, Tue April 15, 2014
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 14: Rafael Nadal of Spain sails a boat during day two of the ATP Monte Carlo Rolex Masters Tennis at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club on April 14, 2014 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal may be most at home on a clay tennis court, but he has always found comfort on the sea.
updated 7:07 AM EDT, Fri March 21, 2014
Tennis star Venus Williams reveals how she is beating the autoimmune disease that derailed her career.
updated 5:14 AM EST, Wed March 5, 2014
After two decades dedicated to the game, Amelie Mauresmo wants a second life -- one away from tennis.
Rafael Nadal of Spain wipes his face after losing his men's final match against Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland during day 14 of the 2014 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 26, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.
Almost five years to the day after reducing Roger Federer to tears at the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal shed a few in his own loser's speech.
updated 9:48 PM EST, Sat February 1, 2014
Li Na outperformed Maria Sharapova at the Australian Open, but can she now surpass the Russian as the world's richest female athlete?
Roger Federer may have lost again to Rafael Nadal in the business end of a grand slam, but he can take some heart from yet another record says CNN's Will Edmonds.
updated 8:58 AM EST, Tue January 21, 2014
Roger Federer and Stefan Edberg, Novak Djokovic and Boris Becker -- today's tennis stars are teaming up with past legends of the game.
updated 1:59 PM EST, Wed January 15, 2014
Can't stand the heat of the first tennis grand slam of 2014? Then you clearly haven't been doing enough Bikram yoga.
After nearly a decade without any real change at the top of men's tennis, CNN's Will Edmonds looks at next generation of future stars.
updated 8:14 AM EST, Thu January 9, 2014
Ana Ivanovic is still seeking to rediscover the form that took her to the top of the rankings -- but she has found a new lease of life.
updated 6:42 AM EST, Mon January 6, 2014
As a teen sensation, Bernard Tomic had the tennis world at his feet -- but he's in danger of blowing it, says Australian great Pat Rafter.
ADVERTISEMENT