Rafael Nadal has punched his ticket to the US Open Men’s Final…
The 27-year-old Spanish tennis star defeated Richard Gasquet, his one-time junior rival, in straight sets 6-4, 7-6, 6-2.
Nadal will next take on World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in a sixth grand slam final at the championship on Monday.
“It’s just amazing. After what happened last year, to have the chance to play in the final is a dream for me. Novak is an amazing competitor. He’s been in the final here a lot of times, he’s a great champion and it will be a tough final for me,” said Nadal, who has now reached the final on his last three visits to the US Open having missed last year through injury.
Before Nadal even took the court, all the signs were in Nadal’s favor for the win.
He hadn’t lost to Gasquet in 10 professional meetings, had not lost a hard-court match in 2013 and had not so much as had his serve broken at Flushing Meadows.
Gasquet at least managed to end that statistic, breaking Nadal in his 74th service game of the tournament.
But the Frenchman, whose second grand slam semi-final came six years after his first, couldn’t muster up enough game to really challenge Nadal.
Gasquet didn’t help his cause, dropping his first service game in each set and serving double faults to start and finish the second-set tie-break.
And he’d played back-to-back five-setters heading into the match, so it was not too surprising that he ran out of steam, ending the match with consecutive double faults as well.
Djokovic has won three of his five slam finals against Nadal, while they have one victory each in New York.