US Open champion Djokovic: ‘I owe Federer, Nadal’

Sep 11, 2018, 02:29
US Open champion Djokovic: ‘I owe Federer, Nadal’

Novak Djokovic sealed his third US Open title and 14th Grand Slam overall, levelling Pete Sampras for third place on the career list, with an immaculate display against Juan Martin del Potro on Sunday.

In turn, Djokovic spoke of his admiration for the Argentine, who has endured a raft of injuries since his sole Grand Slam title in NY.

Djokovic is into his eighth final in NY where he was champion in 2011 and 2015.

Djokovic has 13 Grand Slam titles, while Del Potro has just one, a U.S. Open championship he wrested from then-defending champion Roger Federer back in 2009.

He missed last year´s tournament with an elbow injury which sent his career into a mini-crisis.

Despite not being ranked as high as his contemporaries - Nadal and Federer in the lead up to the US Open, Djokovic was considered as the favourite, and boy, did he live up to the billing!

Novak Djokovic said he relishes this year's Wimbledon and US Open titles even more than before.

When Djokovic faces Federer or Nadal, he rarely starts as the crowd favorite. "They deserve to win".

The Serbian might be seeded 6th but he's making his 8th US Open final appearance, while Del Potro, seeded third, is only playing in a Grand Slam final for just the second time.

"He knows that he's one of my friends on tour and he knows he's one player I want to watch win on tour".

In a tight opening set, there was only a single break point and Djokovic made it count to go up 5-3 before serving it out.

It was a magnificent night of tennis from both players, where Djokovic's athleticism, court coverage and tennis brains came out triumphant against Del Potro's big serve and forehand. "He's my idol. Pete, I love you".

Del Potro's movement went from nimble to clunky after that.

When it ended, thanks to a three-game closing run by Djokovic, he flung his racket away and landed on his back, arms and legs spread wide.

"Difficult times, but you learn through adversity", Djokovic said.

Since bursting out of the slump with an unexpected Wimbledon title he has gone from strength to strength, adding a long-awaited Cincinnati Masters title to his resume before adding the US Open title to those he won in 2011 and 2015.

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.

Throughout the match, Djokovic patiently prodded del Potro with shape and slice, repeatedly turning defense into attack with unrelenting depth and precision that kept the Argentine on his back foot for much of the three-hour, 16-minute match.