Nadal sets up Djokovic final
Rafael Nadal set up a dream US Open final against Novak Djokovic after he came through in straight sets against Richard Gasquet.
The world No 2 beat the eighth seed Gasquet for the 11th time in 11 meetings thanks to a 6-4 7-6 (1) 6-2 succes on Arthur Ashe Stadium in two hours and 21 minutes.
Nadal, the 2010 champion, dropped serve for the first time in his semi-final, ending a run of 73 perfect service games for the tournament and a run of 88 in total stretching back to the Cincinnati Masters semi-finals.
The Frenchman, whose second grand slam semi-final came six years after his first, could find no way to hurt the incredible Spaniard.
He had played back-to-back five-setters heading into the clash, but it was Nadal who swiftly broke Gasquet's first serve of the match, when he found the net.
The 12-time Grand Slam champion then held his serve with relative ease to take the first set in 43 minutes.
The second-seed was pushed hard by the astute Gasquet in the second set although Nadal again started by breaking him in the first game.
The 27-year-old fought back though, breaking to go 2-2 and eventually forcing a tiebreak.
But that decider was a one-sided affair which Gasquet started and ended with a double-fault as Nadal ran out 7-1 winner.
The French Open champion then broke in the second game of the third, with a magnificent forehand down the line.
And he took full command of the match which he secured when Gasquet ended the third set with two double faults on the final two points to extend his unbeaten run on hardcourts to 21 matches.
He will play in his third final at Flushing Meadows while Djokovic, who was the 2011 champion, is in his fourth successive final in New York and fifth in total on Monday night.
"It's just amazing," said Nadal. "After what happened last year, to have the chance to play in the final is a dream for me.
"Novak is an amazing competitor. He's been in the final here a lot of times, he's a great champion and it will be a tough final for me."