Monday evening at the National Tennis Center, he completed a comeback that was astonishing by even his own absurdly high standards.
The No. 2-seeded Nadal took down No. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 for his second US Open title. He celebrated by rolling around the floor of the world’s biggest tennis arena with sobbing joy.
Nadal, who won in 3 hours, 20 minutes, has never had a better run on the hard courts, his least favorite surface of them all.
“I was not that hungry, because I didn’t think something like this could happen,” Nadal said later. “I never thought about competing for all that I competed for this year, so it’s just more than I dreamed. Feel very lucky for what happened since I come back.”
His 13th Grand Slam title puts him one behind Pete Sampras and four behind all-time leader Roger Federer.