More mastery for Rafael Nadal

Considering his knee travails, US Open final a monumental feat for Spaniard

Updated: September 7, 2013, 9:02 PM ET
By Greg Garber | ESPN.com

NEW YORK -- If Rafael Nadal's knees were a building, they would probably be condemned and written off as an insurance loss.

After he crashed out of the second round at Wimbledon a year ago, Nadal missed seven months of ATP World Tour action, including the final major of 2012 and the first of 2013.

His ranking fell to No. 5, the lowest in eight years.

When Rafa returned in February, on the quaint clay-court circuit in South America, no one -- even the ruthlessly optimistic ...

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