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US Open 2013 Day 13: Djokovic and Nadal set up 37th meeting

Novak Djokovic reached his fifth US Open final
by Alexandra Willis at Flushing Meadows
Sunday 8 September 2013

Wimbledon.com's highlights from the thirteenth day of play at the 2013 US Open in Flushing Meadows, New York...

Match of the day

Novak Djokovic d. Stanislas Wawrinka 2-6, 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
It was shades of Melbourne on Arthur Ashe as Djokovic and Wawrinka contested one of the matches of the tournament, going toe to toe for four hours and nine minutes for a place in the final. Wawrinka came out blasting the ball exactly as he had done against Andy Murray the round before, screaming through the first set and going a break up in the second. But in a manner reminiscent of their Australian Open encounter, when Wawrinka had lead by a set and 5-2, Djokovic came fighting right back. In the third game of the fifth set the pair played a 21-minute game that will live long in tennis memory, Wawrinka finally holding, saving five break points. But it was not enough to halt Djokovic's stride towards his fifth US Open final, and fourth in a row. The pair finished on 165 points each as Djokovic survived his third five-set Grand Slam semi-final of the year.

"I just tried to hang on and fight and be mentally tough and believe all the way through I can actually win," Djokovic said.  "And I sincerely believed that as the match progresses and longer it goes, I felt I have maybe that physical edge over him, and that I also, being in particularly these kind of matches and situations, playing on a big stage in semi-finals, maybe that experience could, you know, give me a little bit more of confidence on the court mentally, also."

That's what makes him the world No.1. He will now face Nadal on Monday in their 37th meeting, elevating their rivalry to the most-contested of the Open era.

Hailing the crowd
The Arthur Ashe crowd gave Djokovic and Wawrinka a standing ovation for their efforts, and rightly so. It has been a career-defining week for the Swiss, and the way he was applauded by the crowd is a moment that will stay with him. In case you wondered what the match did to him, him cramping in his press conference confirmed that over four hours on a court takes its toll.

"For me I think I need to take the positive again of that loss, for sure.  It's my first semi-final in a Grand Slam, so I had a great tournament," Wawrinka said.

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. 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."

Cruising through

Rafael Nadal d. Richard Gasquet 6-4, 7-6(1), 6-2
Nadal may have dropped serve for the first time all tournament, but he was silky smooth in his disposal of Gasquet, who had flashes of his best, but couldn't compete with Nadal's ferocity and power. One break of serve did for the first set, the pair exchanged breaks in the second, and Rafa broke twice in the third. The villain of the piece was Gasquet's serve, the poor man double-faulting back-to-back to give Nadal match point and then the match.

"Of course I'm a little bit disappointed," Gasquet said.  "I think I was close to win the second set.  I could do the break in the second, you never know what could happen in the third. But I think he was little bit better than me.  No problem with that."

Bring the popcorn
Sunday and Monday's US Open finals will feature the world No.1 against the world No.2 in both men's and women's singles for the first time since 1996.

Everyone's talking about...
Tornado Alicia Black and Borna Coric, in the girls' and boys' finals respectively. Remember their names.

Quote of the day

"He's [bleep]ing strong"
Wawrinka can't contain himself on live television as he describes Djokovic's strength

Stat of the day

88
Nadal's run of successive service holds, from Cincinnati through to 2-1 in the second set of his semi-final against Richard Gasquet.

Come back tomorrow for

ARTHUR ASHE
12pm - Men's doubles final
Leander Paes & Radek Stepanek [4] v Alexander Peya & Bruno Soares [2]

NB 4.30pm - Women's singles final
Serena Williams [1] v Victoria Azarenka [2]

COURT 11
12pm - Girls' singles final

Tornado Alicia Black v Ana Konjuh [2]
FB Wheelchair Quad singles
David Wagner [1] v Lucas Sithole
FB Wheelchair women's singles
Sabine Ellerbrock [1] v Aniek Van Koot [2]

COURT 7
12pm - Boys' singles final

Borna Coric [4] v Thansi Kokkinakis
FB - Wheelchair men's final
Shingo Kunieda [1] v Stephane Houdet [2]

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For all the reports and results from Flushing Meadows, visit the Official US Open website


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