Nadal Beats Youzhny to Reach First US Open Final

New York, Sep 12 (DPA): Rafael Nadal dismissed Mikhail Youzhny 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 Saturday to reach his first career final at the US Open and stands on the verge of more tennis history should Roger Federer win his own semi-final to set up a showdown between the world's best.

Five-time champion Federer was bidding for his seventh consecutive final at Flushing Meadows as he faced third seed Novak Djokovic for the fourth year in succession at the event.

Nadal could become the sixth man in the post-1968 Open era to reach the final of all four Grand Slams. The New York event is the only one of the majors that eight-time Grand Slam champion Nadal has not won.

Nadal and Federer would become the first two players in history to contest the final at all four majors. They had a near-miss a year ago, with Nadal losing a semi-final to eventual champion Juan Del Potro.

"This is a dream, I'm gonna play the final for the first time on the biggest centre court of world," said Nadal. "I've tried my best here for a lot of years and after the work I'm in the final.

"It feels like home here, it's unbelievable. This win was important for my confidence. Maybe Mikhail was a bit more tired after playing longer matches than I had."

Nadal dominated 12th seed Youzhny as he earned revenge for a 2006 loss in New York to the Russian, who played his only other Grand Slam semi that year. Nadal now stands 11-3 in final-four matches at the majors.

Nadal becomes the first Spanish finalist at the event since Juan Carlos Ferrero, who lost to Andy Roddick in 2003.

Nadal won his 20th match in a row at a Grand Slam after taking titles at Roland Garros (his fifth) and Wimbledon (his second) this season.

The Spaniard stormed through over Youzhny to take an 8-4 lead in their series, winning five of their last six matches dating to 2007.

Nadal required a re-taping early in the second set after going about his lethal business with two breaks of the Russian in the opening set to take the lead.

The top seed entered the match without having dropped a set and had lost just one service game from 77 prior to Saturday.

Youzhny was unable to rally, with Nadal earning a break for 5-3 in the second set and claiming the runaway lead a game later as he set up three set points with only his second ace.

Youzhny had been looking to become the first Russian to reach the final at a Grand Slam since Marat Safin won the 2005 Australian Open.

Nadal lost serve for only his second time when Youzhny broke for 4-all in the third set before losing his lead a game later.



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