Nadal beats Youzhny to enter first ever US Open final

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Rafael Nadal stormed into the US Open final for the first time in his career on Saturday, easing past Russia's Mikhail Youzhny 6-2, 6-3, 6-4.

Updated: September 12, 2010 18:07 IST
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New York :

Rafael Nadal stormed into the US Open final for the first time in his career on Saturday, easing past Russia's Mikhail Youzhny 6-2, 6-3, 6-4.

It was one-way traffic as the top seed had too much power and control for the tournament's 12th seed, winning in two hours 13 minutes.

The Spaniard had the rest of the afternoon off to see if his great rival, Roger Federer, could keep their appointment for a blockbuster final on Sunday by defeating Novak Djokovic in the day's other semi-final.

"For me it is a dream to play for the first time in a final in the biggest center court in the world," said the 24-year-old Nadal, who lost in the semi-finals here for the last two years.

"I have been trying my best for years so after a lot of work I am very happy about that.

"I will see a little bit of Roger and Novak so we will see what happens there."

Nadal reached the last four in New York for the third straight year without losing a set and he had dropped serve just once in 77 service games.

The stakes were high for the Spaniard as he bid to reach the US Open final for the first time at his eighth attempt.

A win here on Sunday would make him the seventh man in history, and the second youngest, to win all four Grand Slam titles - Australian, French, Wimbledon and US - during his career.

It would also make him just the fourth man to win three consecutive Grand Slam titles in the Open era dating back to 1968.

Youzhny, a semi-finalist here in 2006, was bidding to reach his first Grand Slam final at the age of 28 and in so doing offer up the prospect of emulating Marat Safin, the first Russian to win the US Open, doing so 10 years ago.

In perfect playing conditions, Nadal made the first move grabbing a break of serve in the fourth game.

Youzhny, who beat Nadal in four sets in his run into the 2006 semis, earned a break point in the next game after a scintillating 26-stroke rally, but a big serve forced a backhand error from the Russian to snuff out the danger.

Nadal held for a 4-1 lead and a second break of serve in the eighth game allowed the Spaniard to open the second set on his own serve.

There was an air of inevitability about the match as Youzhny struggled to stay in the contest, but Nadal then needed a medical timeout when up 3-2 to fix uncomfortable taping on his left foot.

The Spaniard moved awkwardly for a few points, but he stepped up the pressure on Youznhy once again in the eighth game and a break of serve opened the door for a two sets to love lead.

Having only once ever lost a Grand Slam match from being two sets to love ahead, the task ahead of the Russian was monumental and he looked leg-weary going into the third set.

He held out for one service game, but was broken by Nadal in the third game and the Spaniard looked set to power away for the win.

But there was one final twist as Youzhny made a huge effort to finally break Nadal's serve in the eighth game to level at 4-4. It was only the second time that Nadal had dropped serve in the entire tournament.

Youznhy's reprieve, though, was brief as a duffed volley at the net set up another break point which Nadal promptly converted.

The Spaniard comfortably served out for his 20th consecutive Grand Slam match win after his title triumphs at the French Open and Wimbledon.

He now will have the chance of becoming the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to complete the same-year hat-trick by winning the US Open.

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