Novak Djokovic Beats Rafael Nadal in US Open Final

Novak Djokovic continued his amazing record against Rafael Nadal this year, beating the man he replaced atop the world rankings on Monday at the 2011 US Open in an action-packed finale.

Djokovic improved his record against Nadal to 6-0 for the year—all in final matches—with the help of his superb returns that had the Spanish ace in trouble more often than not. The Serbian world number one took the first two sets, 6-2, 6-4, but Nadal pulled off the third set, 7-6, to extend the match to a fourth set. From there it was all Djokovic, who received treatment for pain in the back and ribs, as well as cramping legs during the break after the third set. Djokovic yielded just a game to wrap up the title, 6-1.

“In big matches, the winner is decided by small margins, a couple points. I guess the winner is the one who believes in victory more,” Djokovic said after winning his third Grand Slam title of the year, the French Open being the lone title to slip away from him.