Rafael Nadal destroys fellow Spaniard Tommy Robredo for the loss of just four games as he powers into the US Open semi-finals. Rafael Nadal is a perfect 20-0 on hard courts this season.
Rafael Nadal's storybook year has seen him come back from a career-threatening injury to reclaim the No. 1 ranking. For Nadal, 2013 will rank alongside 2008 and 2010 as one of his epic years.
The only thing remaining would be winning the WTF final in London and the year-end No. 1 ranking. All of this has occurred despite missing the Australian Open and being eliminated in the first round at Wimbledon.
Which of his matches were the most impressive? Certainly, some matches were more important, but each of the following was crucial in either winning a title or showing another facet of his astonishing perseverance and talent.
Andy Murray's US Open title defence ended tamely as Swiss ninth seed Stanislas Wawrinka outplayed him in the quarter-finals at Flushing Meadows. The Briton, seeded third, failed to earn a single break point in a 6-4 6-3 6-2 defeat on Arthur Ashe Stadium. Murray has struggled to find his best form since winning Wimbledon two months ago and his frustration was clear when he was given a code violation for racquet abuse.
Djokovic survived a 21-minute, 30-point game early in the fifth set and ground down No. 9 seed Wawrinka 2-6, 7-6 (7-4), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. "These matches is what we live for, what we practice for," Djokovic said in an on-court interview after the match. "I tried to hang in there and tried to adjust. I had to run a lot and find my rhythm. ... .I'm so fortunate to play my best tennis when I needed to."
Serena Williams beat a relentless Victoria Azarenka 7-5, 6-7 (6-8), 6-1 for her 17th Grand Slam singles title, one fewer than Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova on the all-time list. Azarenka fought back from two breaks of serve down in the second to take it to a tiebreaker, but Williams was far too strong in the third set to streak to victory.