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National Post Sports

Former New York Yankees Andy Pettitte  Mike Stanton, Roger Clemens, and baseball hall of fame broadcast announcer Milo Hamilton were on hand for a retirement ceremony for shortstop Derek Jeter before the Yankees’ game against the Houston Astros, Wednesday, April 2, 2014, in Houston. A pair of custom Lucchese boots and a Stetson hat were given to Jeter. (Photos: Patric Schneider/The Associated Press, Bob Levey/Getty Images)

This guy looks ready for the Super Bowl. With kickoff just around the corner, check out the Post’s live blog for all the latest updates, commentary, photos and more. (Photo: Seth Wenig/The Associated Press)

This guy looks ready for the Super Bowl. With kickoff just around the corner, check out the Post’s live blog for all the latest updates, commentary, photos and more. (Photo: Seth Wenig/The Associated Press)

Let the festivities begin: People watch fireworks burst over the Hudson River as they stand near the Roman numerals for NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game at Pier A Park in Hoboken, N.J., Monday, Jan. 27, 2014. The Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos are scheduled to play in the Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 2 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The fireworks were part of a kickoff event for the game. (Photo: Julio Cortez/The Associated Press)

Let the festivities begin: People watch fireworks burst over the Hudson River as they stand near the Roman numerals for NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game at Pier A Park in Hoboken, N.J., Monday, Jan. 27, 2014. The Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos are scheduled to play in the Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 2 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The fireworks were part of a kickoff event for the game. (Photo: Julio Cortez/The Associated Press)

Photos: Rangers rally past Devils in outdoor game at Yankee StadiumAfter sun reflecting off the ice delayed the first hockey game at Yankee Stadium, the New York Rangers and pinstriped goalie Henrik Lundqvist beat the New Jersey Devils 7-3 in snow and cold Sunday.Rick Nash scored for the fifth straight game, and the New York Rangers used a four-goal second period to take the lead for good.The temperature was 24.9 degrees Fahrenheit when the first puck dropped at 1:41 p.m. in front of a sellout crowd of 50,105.Yankee Stadium’s second hockey game will take place on Wednesday night when the Rangers will again be the road team in a matchup with the New York Islanders. (Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images)

Photos: Rangers rally past Devils in outdoor game at Yankee Stadium
After sun reflecting off the ice delayed the first hockey game at Yankee Stadium, the New York Rangers and pinstriped goalie Henrik Lundqvist beat the New Jersey Devils 7-3 in snow and cold Sunday.

Rick Nash scored for the fifth straight game, and the New York Rangers used a four-goal second period to take the lead for good.

The temperature was 24.9 degrees Fahrenheit when the first puck dropped at 1:41 p.m. in front of a sellout crowd of 50,105.

Yankee Stadium’s second hockey game will take place on Wednesday night when the Rangers will again be the road team in a matchup with the New York Islanders. (Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images)

The New York City Marathon returned after a one-year absence with big crowds, heightened security and a familiar champion.

Geoffrey Mutai successfully defended his title Sunday, while fellow Kenyan Priscah Jeptoo came from behind to win the women’s race. Bronx resident Buzunesh Deba finished runner-up for the second straight time in her hometown event.

Fans again packed the 26.2-mile course, undaunted by the events of the past year. The 2012 NYC Marathon was cancelled because of the devastation of Superstorm Sandy, but not before many New Yorkers were enraged by initial plans to hold the race.

After the bombings at April’s Boston Marathon, bomb-sniffing dogs roamed the course, and barricades limited access points to Central Park. A record 50,740 runners started the race through the five boroughs. (Photos: Kathy Kmonicek/The Associated Press, Seth Wenig/The Associated Press)

The long goodbye: Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees signs autographs for fans before the game against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on September 28, 2013 in Houston, Texas. Rivera is retiring after Sunday’s game. (Photo: Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

The long goodbye: Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees signs autographs for fans before the game against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on September 28, 2013 in Houston, Texas. Rivera is retiring after Sunday’s game. (Photo: Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

The Yankees held a pregame ceremony to honour retiring closer Mariano Rivera before Sunday’s game against the San Francisco Giants. Among the gifts was a rocking chair made of baseball bats, presented by New York manager Joe Girardi and shortstop Derek Jeter. Metallica performed Enter Sandman as part of the ceremony. (Photos: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images; Elsa/Getty Images)

With the 55th and last swing on the longest of many long points in the U.S. Open final, Rafael Nadal pushed a backhand into the net to get broken by Novak Djokovic.It could have been the beginning of the end for many players.Not for Nadal, who is as resilient as they come. A year after watching the Flushing Meadows title match on TV at home with a bad left knee, he is fit as can be — and, just maybe, better than ever.The No. 2-ranked Nadal emerged with his 13th Grand Slam title, and second at the U.S. Open, by withstanding No. 1 Djokovic’s similar brand of hustle-to-every-ball style and pulling away Monday to a tense, taut 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory.“This season is probably the most emotional one in my career. I felt that I did everything right to have my chance here,” said Nadal, who dropped to the court and rolled over on his stomach, crying, after the last point, during the on-court trophy presentation. “I have to be almost perfect to win.” (Photo: Julie Jacobson/The Associated Press)

With the 55th and last swing on the longest of many long points in the U.S. Open final, Rafael Nadal pushed a backhand into the net to get broken by Novak Djokovic.

It could have been the beginning of the end for many players.

Not for Nadal, who is as resilient as they come. A year after watching the Flushing Meadows title match on TV at home with a bad left knee, he is fit as can be — and, just maybe, better than ever.

The No. 2-ranked Nadal emerged with his 13th Grand Slam title, and second at the U.S. Open, by withstanding No. 1 Djokovic’s similar brand of hustle-to-every-ball style and pulling away Monday to a tense, taut 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory.

“This season is probably the most emotional one in my career. I felt that I did everything right to have my chance here,” said Nadal, who dropped to the court and rolled over on his stomach, crying, after the last point, during the on-court trophy presentation. “I have to be almost perfect to win.” (Photo: Julie Jacobson/The Associated Press)

Jump for joy: Fussing with her skirt and flubbing her shots, Serena Williams was troubled in the U.S. Open final by the swirling breeze and the strong play of Victoria Azarenka.After one early miss, Williams declared, “I can’t play in this wind.” After blowing a big lead and dropping the second set, Williams chucked her racket toward the sideline, and it bounced back onto the court.In the end, Williams pulled herself together, as she usually does when it matters the most. Facing her only test of the past two weeks, the No. 1-seeded Williams overcame No. 2 Azarenka 7-5, 6-7 (6), 6-1 on Sunday for a fifth championship at Flushing Meadows and second in a row. (Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images)

Jump for joy: Fussing with her skirt and flubbing her shots, Serena Williams was troubled in the U.S. Open final by the swirling breeze and the strong play of Victoria Azarenka.

After one early miss, Williams declared, “I can’t play in this wind.” After blowing a big lead and dropping the second set, Williams chucked her racket toward the sideline, and it bounced back onto the court.

In the end, Williams pulled herself together, as she usually does when it matters the most. Facing her only test of the past two weeks, the No. 1-seeded Williams overcame No. 2 Azarenka 7-5, 6-7 (6), 6-1 on Sunday for a fifth championship at Flushing Meadows and second in a row. (Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images)

The New York Yankees’ Brett Gardner douses shortstop Eduardo Nunez after their 6-4 win over the Chicago White Sox in a baseball game at Yankee Stadium, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013, in New York. Nunez’s two-run double capped a five-run eighth inning for the Yankees. (John Minchillo/The Associated Press)

The New York Yankees’ Brett Gardner douses shortstop Eduardo Nunez after their 6-4 win over the Chicago White Sox in a baseball game at Yankee Stadium, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013, in New York. Nunez’s two-run double capped a five-run eighth inning for the Yankees. (John Minchillo/The Associated Press)