Part of complete coverage on
Rafael Nadal beats Novak Djokovic to win U.S. Open
September 11, 2013 -- Updated 0741 GMT (1541 HKT)
- Rafael Nadal wins second U.S. Open title, 13th grand slam
- He won three of four sets, dropping only the second
- He has made triumphant return from knee injury
(CNN) -- Rafael Nadal is back.
After battling a knee injury which threatened to derail his glittering career, the Spaniard is back on track and back on top following a 6-2 3-6 6-4 6-1 win over world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the U.S. Open final.
The second seed recovered from losing the second set and emerged victorious from an energy-sapping third to win his 13th grand slam and his 22nd consecutive hard-court match.
The Mallorcan, who added the Flushing Meadows title to the French Open crown he clinched earlier this year, now trails only Pete Sampras (14) and his great rival Roger Federer (17) in the list of all-time major winners.
Nadal wins 8th French Open title
Secret to beating tennis' big four
King still fights for tennis equality
'Golden Bear' on tennis love
Read: Serena Williams triumphs in U.S. Open
He also now holds a significant lead over Djokovic in the race to end 2013 at the top of the world rankings.
Not bad for a player whose ability to compete at the highest level was called into question in June after a straight-sets defeat to 135th-ranked Steve Darcis in the first round of Wimbledon.
"I never thought something like this could happen, I'm so excited to be back on tour trying to be competitive," Nadal told the U.S. Open's official website after avenging his final defeat to Djokovic in the 2011 final.
"But I never thought about competing for what I have competed for this year, all the Masters 1000s, two grand slams ... so it is just more than a dream for me.
"I'm very happy for everything. It's true that I worked, but you need luck to be where I am today."
Blog: Can Serena become the greatest ever?
Six-time grand slam champion Djokovic has now tasted defeat in consecutive U.S. Open finals, his latest disappointment coming after his loss to Andy Murray in the 2012 title match.
In fact, the Serb has been in four consecutive finals of the New York grand slam, his only victory coming against Nadal two years ago.
"All the credit to him," said Djokovic after the 37th meeting between the two players. "I had my momentum from midway through the second set to end of the third where I was supposed to use it and realize the opportunities that were presented to me.
"I didn't do it. I didn't deserve to win in the end.
"It's obviously disappointing to lose a match like this, but again it was a huge privilege and honor to be fighting for this trophy."
Part of complete coverage on
September 11, 2014 -- Updated 1248 GMT (2048 HKT)
His distinctive crocodile logo is seen on clothing all over the world, but Rene Lacoste also left a lasting legacy in the development of tennis.
September 9, 2014 -- Updated 0636 GMT (1436 HKT)
Marin Cilic follows in the footsteps of his coach Goran Ivanicevic by claiming a grand slam crown for Croatia, winning the U.S. Open.
September 14, 2014 -- Updated 1334 GMT (2134 HKT)
Serena Williams is without peer in the modern women's game and now she is on a par with two American tennis legends from the past.
September 2, 2014 -- Updated 1321 GMT (2121 HKT)
Over the course of her remarkable life, Althea Gibson was many things to many people -- but it was tennis where she really left her mark.
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 1145 GMT (1945 HKT)
Canada and tennis? Really? Yup. The North American tennis power balance is swinging away from the States.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1252 GMT (2052 HKT)
As a player he was as fiery as his hair -- and as Novak Djokovic's coach, Boris Becker says he has to battle to keep his emotions in check.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1102 GMT (1902 HKT)
Tennis great Boris Becker says he was stunned by the level of criticism he received after being appointed as Novak Djokovic's coach.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 1101 GMT (1901 HKT)
"I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
June 30, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 0114 GMT (0914 HKT)
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 0746 GMT (1546 HKT)
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.
Today's five most popular stories