Rafael Nadal is on the cusp of history. If the world's top-ranked player can defeat Novak Djokovic in this afternoon's U.S. Open men's final (weather permitting, of course), he will win his first U.S. Open title, ninth Grand Slam singles title overall and become the seventh man to complete the career Grand Slam, joining Andre Agassi, Don Budge, Roy Emerson, Roger Federer, Rod Laver, and Fred Perry in having won U.S., French and Australian Opens and Wimbledon title.
But it will not be easy.
His opponent, No. 3-seed Novak Djokovic, defeated Roger Federer on Saturday in an epic three-hour, 44-minute semifinal, and has been aided by an additional day of rest.
Nadal leads the overall matchup 14-7 but Djokovic has a solid record against Nadal on hardcourts, owning a 7-3 record against him. While Djokovic has won his last three matches against Nadal, the most recent in London at last year's ATP Finals, he has never beaten Nadal in a final or at a Grand Slam event. SI.com's Richard Deitsch, who is at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, will live-blog the match here and SI.com will have plenty of post-match coverage.