Top-seeded Novak Djokovic has won the second set of the U.S. Open men’s final against second-seeded Rafael Nadal to even their match at one set each.
Djokovic, 26, of Serbia, broke Nadal’s serve twice in a row and won the second set 6-3. Nadal, 27, from Spain, had won the first set 6-2 at the National Tennis Center in New York.
Nadal, who is 21-0 on hard courts this season, had lost only one game on serve in his first six matches of the tournament.
Djokovic broke Nadal’s serve in the sixth game of the set, winning the game on a 54-shot rally and pumping his arms above his head in triumph as he took a 4-2 lead.
That celebration was short-lived, as Nadal broke right back in the next game. Djokovic responded with another break of serve, though, and then served out the set.
It is the third time in four years that the two have met in the final -- Nadal won in 2010 and Djokovic triumphed in 2011. Last year, with Nadal sidelined by a knee injury, Djokovic lost to Andy Murray in the final.
Djokovic has reached the final of three major championships in 2013 for the third consecutive year, winning his third straight Australian Open at the beginning of the year.
Nadal and Djokovic are playing for the 37th time, the most of any men’s rivalry in the professional era of tennis that began in 1968. They had been tied with Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe with 36 meetings. Nadal leads the head-to-head contest 21-15.