NEW YORK — A Monday men's final is becoming a U.S. Open tradition.
The championship match between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic was postponed a day because of persistent rain Sunday, the third consecutive year that the season's last major tournament won't finish on schedule.
The No. 1-seeded Nadal, bidding to complete a career Grand Slam, and No. 3 Djokovic waited almost two hours, then the final was rescheduled for 4 p.m. today. There is a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms.
This marks the first three-year string of delayed finishes at the tournament since the men's and women's singles competitions were combined and played at the same site in 1935.
"It was such an uncertain forecast that we felt the right thing to do for the players — and certainly for the fans — was to postpone the remaining matches,'' U.S. Tennis Association spokesman Chris Widmaier said.
Djokovic doesn't mind the wait. He reached the final with a five-set victory over Roger Federer that lasted about 1½ hours longer than Nadal's three-set win against Mikhail Youzhny.
After upsetting Federer to reach his third Grand Slam final, Djokovic opened his eyes wide and rubbed his hands together when told about the possibility of rain affecting the final. "I don't know the rituals; how to invite the rain," he said. "An extra day would be great."
Nadal is playing in his first U.S. Open final. The Spaniard is seeking to become the seventh man to own at least one singles title for each of tennis' four most prestigious tournaments.
He takes a 20-match Grand Slam winning streak into today, having won the French Open and Wimbledon to raise his major title total to eight. A victory over Djokovic also would make Nadal, 24, the first man since Rod Laver's true, calendar-year Grand Slam in 1969 to win at Paris, London and New York in the same season. And it would send Nadal to the Australian Open in January with a chance to pull off a slam of four major titles in a row, something no man has done since Laver.
juniors: Jack Sock won the boys' title, beating Denis Kudla 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 in the first all-American junior final at Flushing Meadows in a decade. Sock is the first U.S. Open junior champion from the United States since Andy Roddick in 2000. Roddick beat Robby Ginepri. Daria Gavrilova beat Yulia Putintseva 6-3, 6-2 in an all-Russian girls' final.