Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

Highlights from the final day at the US Open as Djokovic triumphs

From 1,042 to US Open final del Potro relishes return to Grand Slam title match From 1,042 to US Open final del Potro relishes return to Grand Slam title match
Cassandra Gardner | 14 September, 2018, 17:19

Juan Martin del Potro may have been the sentimental favorite in Sunday's US Open men's final, but Novak Djokovic paid no attention to that on court as he beat the popular, injury ravaged Argentine to collect a historic grand slam title.

Osaka's winning the championship also must have given impetus to other Japanese tennis players, including Kei Nishikori, who finished second in the 2014 U.S. Open.

A focused Djokovic continued to apply pressure in the third set until Del Potro finally cracked on serve to fall behind 5-3, with the Serb closing out the match with a ferocious overhead victor. Del Potro then held at love and had chances for another break on his next opportunity before Djokovic finally held to end a 22-point game that lasted more than 20 minutes.

As the match wore on, through the second-set tiebreak that del Potro led 3-1 only to lose with a handful of forehand errors, del Potro didn't go flat so much as he began springing leaks.

But in the last eight weeks the 31-year-old has resembled the Grand Slam machine that held all four major titles at the same time in 2016, wining three of his last four events including Wimbledon and U.S. Open.

Djokovic was thrilled to match Sampras with a 14th Grand Slam title at the US Open Sunday, but he said it's Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal who have made him the player he is. Roger Federer has 20 titles and Rafael Nadal 17. That put the 29-year-old Argentine back in a Grand Slam final for the first time since his breakthrough nine years ago, a comeback for a guy who had four wrist operations in the interim.

The win at Flushing Meadows enabled Djokovic to complete a Wimbledon-US Open double after lifting his fourth Wimbledon title earlier this year at the All England Club in London. "Now I have a feeling he's [catching] up with them", Vajda continued, slapping the back of his right hand on his left palm for emphasis.

Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, celebrates after defeating Juan Martin del Potro, of Argentina.

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Backed by his singing boys, Del Potro roared back in the set by breaking Djokovic to go back on serve.

Before his Wimbledon crown, Djokovic had gone two years without a grand-slam triumph, struggling with motivation, confidence and an elbow problem.

Djokovic declared Ramos "shouldn't have pushed Serena to the limit" when asked about Williams in his press conference.

Djokovic's most hard opponent this tournament has been the heat and humidity, so Sunday's cool and wet conditions, resulting in the roof being shut on Arthur Ashe Stadium, were perfectly to his liking.

Del Potro cracked first when serving in the eighth game of the first set.

But against one of the best returners in the business, Del Potro needed to be far more assertive. 1 and 2, respectively, while Germany's Angelique Kerber climbed one place to 3. For Djokovic, too. "You learn when you're down and things are not working out as you want them to", he said.

The tiebreaker was resolved thanks to more del Potro miscues on his forehand side, as he looked more and more tired.

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