As for Rafael, who won this tournament in 2010 and 2013, he’s finding his chill before possibly adding to his impressive collection of Grand Slam titles. “For me, more than winning grand slams or not – of course, if I win, I will be more happy – but is about being healthy, and feel myself well and competitive,” Rafael said. He may need to stay frosty because Kevin is on a hot streak. The South African goes into this match with 114 aces in the tournament, winning 336 points on first serve. However, Rafael is one of the best defenders in the game, proving this might be a case of the unstoppable force meeting an unmovable object.
Rafael Nadal arrived at the 2010 US Open pursuing a place in history. Nadal had won one Australian Open, five French Open and two Wimbledon titles, but the US Open had consistently eluded him, with his health breaking down on the unforgiving hard courts at Flushing Meadows, denying him the title he needed to become the seventh man in tennis history to own the career Grand Slam. When the dust settled one man stood between him and history, Novak Djokovic. For Novak Djokovic, the US Open had become his best Grand Slam event. While his lone Slam title came at the 2008 Australian Open, his best record had been at the US Open and in 2010 he became just the fifth man in the Open Era to reach four consecutive US Open singles semifinals.