Djokovic back at the top of the tennis mountain

Sep 13, 2018, 05:18
Djokovic back at the top of the tennis mountain

This was Djokovic's third championship in NY, along with those in 2011 and 2015.

Britain's Alison Hughes, the second woman to umpire a U.S. Open men's singles final, kept a low profile as the two former champions went to work.

"I don't feel sad that I couldn't win Grand Slams because of them".

Juan Martin del Potro believes Novak Djokovic can end his career as the most successful Grand Slam title victor, surpassing Roger Federer's current mark of 20.

Things looked ominous for Del Potro as Djokovic seized control early on, moving magnificently and constructing a number of superb points with precision striking.

This was Djokovic's third championship in NY, along with those in 2011 and 2015, as he drew even with Pete Sampras on 14 major to be third all time - trailing only Roger Federer (20) and Rafael Nadal (17).

Juan Martin del Potro stood with his hands on his knees, exhausted from taking the mightiest swings he could with his ferocious forehand.

"When I was a kid, I mixed watching soccer and the U.S. Open, that's it", Del Potro said before the match. Both players settled for a tie-break in which the 31-year-old Serb rallied from 3-1 down, winning six of the next seven points, to win a mammoth set in 95 minutes and move to within one set of a second straight Grand Slam title.

"I'd just like to congratulate Juan Martin. for still having faith, for still having belief in himself", said Djokovic, who gave his pal a hug at the net, and then went over to console del Potro as he wiped away tears at his sideline seat.

"Difficult times but you learn from adversity".

Del Potro is known as one of tennis' good guys and modesty like this further reinforces that reputation. "I try to take the best part of myself in those moments and thrive on the support of my loved ones to get myself in this position".

Djokovic had lost five previous finals at Flushing Meadows, but he was determined to make amends for his lack of trophies in NY as his defensive ability combined with his ruthless prowess saw him break in the fourth game, although Del Potro was not in the mood to give up so easily as he hit straight back. Barty and Vandeweghe kissed the trophy and won $700,000 for their championship.

It took him some time to find the right form, as evidenced by his quarterfinal loss at the French Open to a guy who was ranked 72nd and had never won a Grand Slam match until that tournament. I don't see it's necessary really to debate that.

Del Potro - the third seed - had earlier lauded Djokovic, telling ESPN: "So happy to play in the final against this magnificent idol". He depended on his hometown friends, a group of whom have been in NY throughout the fortnight to lead cheers in Arthur Ashe Stadium, and worked his way back to the final at his favorite ATP Tour event.

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