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Rafael Nadal beats Novak Djokovic to win U.S. Open

Rafael Nadal

(CNN) — Rafael Nadal confirmed his status Monday night as the dominant force in men’s tennis with a four-set win over world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the U.S. Open final.

Nadal won 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.

For Nadal, it was his second U.S. Open title and, as importantly, marked a triumphant return to the peak of his powers after a long battle to overcome a knee injury.

The Spaniard also avenged his defeat to Djokovic in the 2011 Flushing Meadows final to clinch his 13th grand slam title. That puts him one grand slam behind American Pete Sampras and four behind Roger Federer of Switzerland.

In the 37th meeting between the two players, the sixth in a grand slam final, world No. 2 Nadal extended his hard-court winning streak to 22 matches.

Serbia’s Djokovic has now tasted defeat in two consecutive U.S. Open finals after his five-set loss to Andy Murray in 2012.

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