Excited Nadal reaches first U.S. Open final

Sat Sep 11, 2010 3:30pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Rafa Nadal reached his first U.S. Open final, earning the chance to achieve a grand slam of 'Big Four' victories, by routing Russian Mikhail Youzhny 6-2 6-3 6-4 on Saturday.

After blasting a service winner to end the match with a love game, the 24-year-old Spaniard leapt up and punched the air.

"To me it's a dream. I'm going to play for the first time in the final here in the biggest center court in the world," Nadal told the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd.

"I have tried my best for a lot of years. So now after a lot of work I am here and I'm happy for that."

The top seed next faces five-times champion Roger Federer or third-seeded Serb Novak Djokovic.

Nadal, armed with a stronger serve and more precise volleys, will try to add the U.S. crown to his grand slam haul of five French Opens, two Wimbledons and an Australian Open title.

The world number one was not to be denied on a sunny day at the National Tennis Center, dominating the 12th-seeded Youzhny in all facets by belting 23 winners and committing just 19 unforced errors.

MOMENT OF CONCERN   Continued...

<p>Rafael Nadal of Spain serves to Mikhail Youzhny of Russia during the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York September 11, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Segar</p>