The game that crushed Rafael Nadal

Updated: September 12, 2011, 9:55 PM ET
By Greg Garber | ESPN.com

NEW YORK -- There were 38 games in Monday's U.S. Open final between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. But only one of them -- the third game of the second set -- defined the ongoing battle between the world's No. 1 and No. 2 players.

For the second straight set, Nadal ran off to a 2-0 lead. He had subsequently lost the remaining six games of the first set, but he could not afford to be broken here. Nadal trailed love-30 and 30-40, but forced two Djokovic forehand errors and brought it ...

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