Nadal and Williams reign at this year’s U.S. Open

By | September 9, 2013
Serena Williams celebrates her U.S. Open victory (PHOTO: Washington Post)

Serena Williams celebrates her U.S. Open championship victory (PHOTO: Washington Post)

It might not have played out exactly like most tennis fans expected, but the overall results of this year’s U.S. Open were fairly anticlimactic. In fact, both championship singles matches featured the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds.

The uncooperative weather did wreak havoc on the tournament during the early going, and the sport’s heavyweight doubles team was subjected to a premature exit just to keep things interesting.

Here is a rundown of all the action from Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York.

Rafael Nadal claims win in familiar U.S. Open match-up

No. 2-seeded Rafael Nadal and the world’s best tennis player in Novak Djokovic met in the championship on the men’s side. This was the third time in the last four years that the pair squared off in the finals. Djokovic has actually reached the championship of the U.S. Open in each of his last four tries.

In similar fashion to Rafa’s 2010 victory over Djokovic, the Spaniard battled for four sets and claimed a 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory. Only stammering in the second set, Nadal was otherwise unstoppable. In fact, he has not lost a match on a hard court yet this year, seemingly on a collision course with that No. 1 ranking once again.

Nadal carries a 60-3 record on the year after coming back from injury. This was his 18th Grand Slam victory, which puts him hot on the heels of Roger Federer, the fading star who has 22 Grand Slam wins to his name. Federer is currently the all-time leader.

Serena Williams earns a win for the U.S.

For the second-straight year, Serena Williams claimed the women’s title in front of her hometown crowd. The No. 1-seeded Williams disposed of No. 2 Victoria Azarenka 7-5, 6-7, 6-1.

Azarenka sent a message early that she was not going down without a fight. Not only did she keep the first set toe-to-toe, but she made a dramatic comeback to force a third and decisive set. That is when she seemingly ran out of gas.

Williams might be the greatest female tennis player of all time to most fans, but she still has work to do before she can prove it on paper. Her latest victory moved her Grand Slam wins total to 17. Margaret Court is the all-time leader at 24. Players like Steffi Graf, Helen Willis, Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova are also ahead of Williams still.

If Williams can outpace her age, it should be no problem.

The Bryan Brothers lose … finally

No. 1-ranked doubles teams Mike and Bob Bryan stubbed their toe for the first time in 29 major matches. The American duo spoiled the chance at a calendar Grand Slam by dropping their semifinals match to Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek.

Williams sisters not much better

Serena Williams couldn’t duplicate her success with sister Venus Williams in doubles competition. The duo did manage to reach the semifinals before eventually losing 6-4, 6-2 to Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka.

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