Fighting in his first US Open final in 2010, Rafael Nadal defeated Novak Djokovic 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 to lift the ninth Major trophy and secure a Career Grand Slam at 24 years and three months! The Spaniard became the fourth player in the Open era to achieve that honor and the youngest, completing his journey in five years and joining ultimate tennis immortals.
Despite a massive success, Rafa knew he still had to work hard to maintain his spot at the top in the years to come, praising Djokovic and predicting him a bright future. Also, the Spaniard denied some claims that he had already become a better player than Roger Federer, recalling everything that the Swiss had accomplished and admitting he was not even close to him.
Nadal played like a real GOAT in this title clash, prevailing after three hours and 43 minutes of titanic battle on Arthur Ashe Stadium. The final took place on Monday due to the rain, and Nadal scored his 15th victory over Djokovic and the first since that epic 2009 Madrid encounter.
Rafa's serve was on another level that year in New York, holding in 106 out of 111 service games and barely losing a set in seven matches to emerge as a deserved champion. Novak broke Rafa three times from four opportunities, which was not enough to keep him safe after getting broken five times from massive 25 break opportunities offered to the world's leading player.
Nadal created an enormous advantage with his second serve and tamed his strokes efficiently to dominate the shortest and most extended exchanges and bring the victory home. They traded early breaks in the opening set, and Nadal fired a forehand down the line winner in game five to build another advantage.
The Spaniard fired three winners in game eight and held at 15 at 5-4 following the Serb's backhand error to clinch the opener in 50 minutes. Eager to fight, Djokovic broke in the second set's fourth game to open a 3-1 gap and held at love after an incredible forehand winner to increase the advantage.
Rafael Nadal completed a Career Grand Slam at the 2010 US Open.
Nadal pulled the break back in game seven after another effective backhand down the line and leveled the score at 4-4 with a service winner. The players left the court for two hours due to the rain, and Novak kept his focus once they returned to grab a break and the set at 6-5 with a deep return.
Rafa bounced back in the third set and seized a break at 1-1. Djokovic faced 11 break points in this part of the match and took away ten of those to remain in touch and wait for an opportunity on the return! Still, the Spaniard sealed the set with back-to-back service winners in game ten to move closer to the finish line in just under three hours.
Novak struggled to follow Rafa's pace and hit a forehand long at 1-1 in the fourth set to experience a break and recognize the writings on the wall. Nadal held at love in the next one and stole the rival's serve again in game five thanks to Djokovic's loose forehand.
Rafa erased a break chance in game six and moved 5-1 up with an unreturned serve. World no. 3 held in the seventh game before the world's leading player brought the victory home at 5-2, falling to the court in disbelief and starting a massive celebration of one of his most important victories in a career.
"I'm more than happy with the number of titles I have won. Discussions about me being better than Roger are stupid, as he has won much more than me at this point. I can not be in front of him, and maybe that won't change for my entire career.
Roger has been an example for all of us, improving his tennis throughout his career. Roger and I are different, we have different styles, but I'm trying to copy him and make regular improvements. The moment is not right to talk about matching or passing Roger, as I'm still not there yet," Rafael Nadal said.