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Nadal claims US Open after beating Djokovic

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Rafael Nadal underlined his credentials as the best player on the planet with a resounding four-set victory over the official number one, Novak Djokovic, at the US Open final. Apart from a blip at Wimbledon, 2013 has been one of Nadal's most impressive seasons, as he has managed his injury problems and played some of his most imposing tennis.

It was only Nadal's second US Open, but his 13th grand slam title, and he now looks capable of overhauling the fading Roger Federer's total of 17. For the first three sets it was a match played at the highest level as the players reached consistent levels of brilliance. Once Nadal got on top, Djokovic faded in the fourth set. His tough five-set semi-final against Stanislas Wawrinka seemed to have drained some of his famous resilience.

Before the start of the season, Nadal took a seven month break to rest his crumbling knees and the results were astounding. He has won 60 of the 64 matches he has played this year. His uncle and coach Toni Nadal said Rafael was always in pain but had learned a way of playing through it. He also seems to established a psychological domination over Djokovic, winning six of the last seven matches they have played.

"That was very, very emotional," Nadal said. "All my team knows how much this means to me. Probably nobody brings my game to its limits like Novak Djokovic." Nadal played a tormenting game, first hammering Djokovic with patient ground-strokes and later adjusting his approach and moving in for the kill at the right moment.

Djokovic is clinging to his number one ranking, but knows it is just a matter of time before Nadal returns to his rightful place at the top. "He definitely deserved to win this match," Djokovic said. "It was a huge privilege to be fighting for this trophy."

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