Djokovic headed for bright finish with US Open win
14 September, 2018, 17:21 | Author: Lora Ball
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.
There appears to be one winning formula for Novak Djokovic when it comes to taking home the US Open title.
Del Potro's sole Grand Slam title came at the U.S. Open in 2009 and he said it had been an emotional journey back to the Flushing Meadows final.
However, the odds were stacked against the 29-year-old journeyman took on the sixth seed Djokovic for a spot in the semi-finals on Thursday.
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.
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For world number three Del Potro, it was a heartbreaking experience coming in just his second Slam final, nine years after he was crowned US Open champion. Nadal, Federer and Djokovic last occupied the top three spots in the rankings in April 2015.
The win for Djokovic gave him 14 Grand Slams to move into a tie for third on the all-time list alongside Pete Sampras. Roger Federer of Switzerland has 20 Grand Slam titles and Spain's Rafael Nadal has 17 singles' Grand Slam trophies to his name. For Djokovic, it was an illustration of him growing into the championships as he took his run of consecutive sets won to 14, stretching back to the second round against Tennys Sandgren.
The quest to win a second major will have to wait until next year, but del Potro, who turns 30 this month, feels good about his chances with the way his wrist held up over the last two weeks.
"They made a big effort to play these kind of tournaments and they deserve to be treated the same as we are".
Playing on the same court where Sampras claimed his 14th and final Grand Slam crown, Djokovic has endured more disappointment than joy on Arthur Ashe, winning three titles from eight finals. Here's a look at those who expressed congratulations to Djokovic.
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Amid increasing noise between points and serves, which prompted frequent interventions from chair umpire Alison Hughes, the previously assured Djokovic - who missed the tournament past year due to an elbow injury - appeared agitated.
Djokovic had elbow surgery in February to finally fix a problem that had dogged him for more than a year and found his best form again this summer.
But seemingly temporarily distracted by del Potro's supporters getting louder, not to mention the world No. 3's better play, he was broken back for 3-3.
It was a brief request, though, unlike her many other pleas for quiet, mainly as fans were shouting and chanting and clapping in support of del Potro.
The tiebreaker was resolved thanks to more del Potro miscues on his forehand side, as he looked more and more worn out. "But I'm happy for Novak and his team".
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