Monday, 19 November, 2018

Djokovic wins US Open for 14th major, tying ‘idol’ Sampras

Del Potro 'Djokovic is the favorite but also Roger Federer in 2009...' Novak Djokovic wins men's US Open singles title
Isaac Mcdaniel | 10 September, 2018, 06:43

It's the Serb's 14th career Grand Slam singles title-tying Pete Sampras for third all time-and his second consecutive major win, as he triumphed at Wimbledon just two months ago.

Top-seeded Nadal had been favored to win this tournament from the start. It's wonderful. I don't feel sad that I couldn't win Grand Slams because of them.

The Serb, who was back in the final for an eighth time and contesting his 23rd Grand Slam final - the third most in men's tennis history - was serving exceptionally well and earned a break in the eighth game after showing tremendous patience before successfully serving out the set.

Del Potro, the No. 3 seed from Argentina, advanced in Friday's other semifinal when defending champion Rafael Nadal retired from their semifinal because of a painful right knee after dropping the opening two sets.

Djokovic was better than del Potro on their many lengthy exchanges, using his trademark body-twisting, limb-splaying court coverage to get to almost every ball, sneakers squeaking around the blue court in Arthur Ashe Stadium, where the roof was closed because of rain.

Against Djokovic, del Potro is 4-14 in his career, including 0-3 in majors.

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The Argentine put his admiration aside Sunday and made it hard for Djokovic to gain an edge, despite the score of the first set.

Having worked so hard to resist Del Potro's charge, Djokovic saw his tenacity rewarded as Del Potro's forehand again went missing at the worst moment, successive errors from 4-4 in a tie-break proving costly. It was even louder because of the closed roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium to keep out the rain. The game is sure to be a play between brain and brawn on Sunday. He had all but deflated. "But Novak has everything to make records in this sport". After all he had the far bigger game - as demonstrated in the way he blew both Nadal and Federer off the court in that US Open run - and Djokovic had a habit for pulling out of matches with illness and injury.

Novak Djokovic celebrates his US Open 2018 victory at the Arthur Ashe Stadium.

"You can lose or win a trophy, but the love from the crowd, it could be even bigger than the tournament", del Potro said.

"I think most of all, the respect they had for other player, they never went over the line and that's something truly wonderful tonight", Djokovic said at the presentation ceremony.

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. "It will be in the heart for the rest of my life".

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