Rain in New York City on "Championship Monday" could not dampen the enthusiasm of Rafael Nadal. The sizzling Spaniard beat Novak Djokovic to win the U.S. Open title for the first time. Nadal only dropped one set at the Open in becoming the seventh man to achieve the career Grand Slam. Nadal has won the last three Grand Slam events and will be going after a "Rafa Slam" when he competes at the Australian Open in January. The 24-year-old has already made a major statement in his career by winning nine Grand Slam titles. Nadal's fans can make a compelling argument that he has a chance to become the greatest men's player of the Open Era.
Fight night at the U.S. Open
Who says Tennis is a genteel "country club" sport? Some rowdy fans got into a brawl at Arthur Ashe Stadium during a match between Philipp Petzschner and Novak Djokovic. While no arrests were made, the pugilists received a two-year ban from attending the Open from the United States Tennis Association. A USTA spokesman may have summed up the donnybrook best: "It's a hot night in New York. Things happen." The unusual spectacle was captured on videotape by another fan and quickly became a viral sensation on the Internet.
Capra wins big in the Big Apple
Beatrice Capra thought she would be spending the last week of August on vacation after losing in the girls 18-and-under national championships. But Capra was invited to compete in the U.S. Open wild card playoff and emerged with a victory. The American teen made the most of her time in New York by upsetting No. 18 seed Aravane Rezai in the sound round. Capra's cinderella run came to an abrupt end in her next match, losing to Maria Sharapova 6-0, 6-0. However, the Maryland native captured the imagination of many tennis fans with her improbable Open run.
Mother Nature slams the Open
Weather was a significant story at the final Grand Slam event of the year. Sweltering heat baked the Big Apple during Week One. Victoria Azarenka -- who suffered a mild concussion during a pre-match gym accident -- collapsed on the court when she faced Gisela Dulko as temperatures reached 110 degrees. Wind became a major storyline in Week Two. Swirling winds at Arthur Ashe Stadium created a myriad of unexpected double faults and unforced errors. Rain pushed back the men's singles final to a Monday for the third straight year.
Harrison's dazzling debut in NYC
Ryan Harrison made a splash in his first U.S. Open. The 18-year-old from Shreveport, La., upset No. 15 seed Ivan Ljubicic in the opening round to become the first American male teenager to beat a top-20 player at a Grand Slam tournament in nine years. While Harrison squandered match points in his second-round loss to Sergiy Stakhovsky, the young American served notice he could be a player to watch in years to come.
A political victory in defeat
India's Rohan Bopanna and Pakistan's Aisam-Ul-Haq run to the championship match in men's doubles transcended tennis. The two have used their partnership on the court to promote a message of peace between their nations. While the tandem lost to the top-seeded Bryan Brothers in the doubles final, the lasting images of this match came during the trophy presentation. Qureshi offered this message to the crowd -- and the millions watching around the world: "It is the wrong perception that Pakistan is being a terrorist country. We are a loving, caring people and we want peace as much as you guys want it. May God love us all."
Verdasco beats Ferrer with sensational shot
Rafael Nadal's U.S. Open victory capped an impressive fortnight for Spanish players in the Big Apple. Nadal's countrymen Fernando Verdasco and David Ferrer played an amazing fourth-round match that wowed the crown in New York City. For just the second time in his career, Verdasco rallied from a two-set deficit to prevail in a fifth-set tiebreaker. The No. 8 seed sealed the victory with one of the most brilliant shots of the entire tournament. Verdasco covered a drop shot and nailed a forehand winner to advance to the quarterfinals.
King, Shvedova win second straight major
Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova have been making the most of their limited time on the court together in 2010. The new doubles partners have only played seven tournaments together -- but they have won back-to-back Grand Slam titles. The Wimbledon champions defeated Liezel Huber and Nadia Petrova in three sets to take the U.S. Open title. King and Shvedova maintained their focus as rain postponed the conclusion of Sunday's match until Monday. It will be intriguing to see what else these two players can achieve as they gain even more experience as a team.
No joke: Djokovic outlasts Federer in the semis
While the epic match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon will live forever, Novak Djokovic's semifinal win over Roger Federer may have been the best match of the year in men's tennis. The Serbian saved a pair of match points to defeat Federer in a five-set victory. Both competitors played with guts and guile, conjuring up lengthy rallies and brilliant shot-making. After losing to Federer three consecutive years at the Open, the scintillating win provided some redemption for Djokovic. Federer saw his streak of reaching six straight U.S. Open finals come to an end. Perhaps Djokovic was inspired by his parents' distinctive fashion choice, wearing T-shirts emblazoned with portraits of their son.
Kim possible: Clijsters defends U.S. Open title
Kim Clijsters effectively won the U.S. Open championship when she defeated Venus Williams in the semifinals. The brilliant Belgian dismantled Vera Zvonareva 6-2, 6-1 in just 59 minutes to capture the U.S. Open for the third time. Clijsters has been unstoppable in New York City in recent years, winning 21 straight matches in Flushing Meadows. At one stage of her career, Clijsters had lost four consecutive Grand Slam finals. Now the former world No. 1 has become dominant on the sport's grandest stage.