Flushing Meadows, NY, United States (4E Sports) – World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and second-ranked Rafael Nadal lived up to their billing, sealing their US Open final showdown after dispatching separate rivals in contrasting fashion Saturday at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Djokovic needed five sets to oust ninth seed Stanislas Wawrinka, 2-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, to reach his fourth consecutive US Open final.
Nadal, for his part, improved his perfect hard court record to 21-0 by defeating France’s Richard Gasquet, 6-4, 7-6, 6-2, in two hours and 35 minutes.
Nadal will go for his second US Open title and 13th Grand Slam singles crown against Djokovic Monday. It will be the 37th meeting between the Serb and the Spaniard and fourth of 2013.
Djokovic, who will gun for a seventh Grand Slam title, holds a 3-2 edge in head-to-head Grand Slam finals against Nadal.
Regardless of Monday’s result, Djokovic will remain at No. 1 in the ATP rankings but the race for year-end No. 1 heats up with Nadal’s victory.
“I managed to find my way through, to adjust, and to win,” said Djokovic, who improved his head-to-head series against Wawrinka to 13-2 after a four-hour and nine-minute victory.
“That’s what counts. I’m really happy that I won in five sets again coming back from two sets to one down. Playing four [US Open] finals now in a row and five in total, it’s great,” he added.
Wawrinka had 57 winners compared to Djokovic’s 38 but committed 69 unforced errors that doomed his chances of advancing to his first Grand Slam final.
“Today I had the feeling when I was still fit, when I was still healthy I had the match in control,” Wawrinka said. “I think I was playing better than him. But he’s not No. 1 for nothing. He was staying with me all match, and at the end he pushed me far back.”