Rafael Nadal def Dusan Lajovic 76(6) 62 62
For the first time in three years, Rafael Nadal is once again the #1 Player in the World. Without Novak, Andy or Stan at this year’s US Open, he and Federer are the clear favorites to win.
The two have been defying age all season. 36-year-old Federer won Australia and Wimbledon, and now owns a record 19 Grand Slam singles titles. 31-year-old Nadal won Roland Garros – becoming the only player in history to win a single Slam 10-times. His career Grand Slam title total now sits at 15.
Should Roger raise the trophy on Sunday the 10th, it’ll be his 6th US Open, 20th career Major, and third Slam of the year. Should Rafa earn the hardware, he’ll have 3 US Opens, 16 career Slams, and both elder statesmen will be the sole owners of the year’s most prestigious trophies. If they do face each other in this year’s Semifinals, it will be their 38th career meeting; thier first at the US Open. Remarkable.
As the rain fell in Flushing on Tuesday, Rafa had the packed house under Arthur Ashe Stadium’s roof wondering if the much anticipated Semifinal was merely a pipe-dream. In set-1, Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic was calmly consistent after breaking Nadal in game-3; but…up 5-4, Dusan opened the door, falling apart while serving for the set. 15-minutes later, fans erupted as Rafa captured the set, 8-6 in the tie-break. It was one-way traffic the rest of the way as Nadal punished Dusan’s waning self-belief and expectation.