Novak Djokovic sweeps aside del Potro in US Open final

Dean Simpson
September 10, 2018

A clinical Novak Djokovic dismissed Juan Martin Del Potro 6-3 7-6 (4) 6-3 to collect his third US Open title on Sunday, giving him 14 Grand Slams to move into a tie for third on the all-time list alongside Pete Sampras.

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

Del Potro - the 2009 champion back for a second slam final after overcoming career-threatening wrist injuries - threw everything he had at his rival, but Djokovic absorbed the Argentinian's power superbly, his returning of serve particularly outstanding.

The tension and fireworks of the Osaka-Williams clash were left behind during a relatively calm and composed baseline battle between two friends and familiar foes who had played each other 18 times, with Djokovic holding a commanding 14-4 edge.


But Nadal retired in the semifinals when his troublesome right knee gave way to what the world No. 1 said was a flare up of preexisting tendinitis.

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. "But at the same time, life showed me that it takes time for good things, it takes time to really build them, for things to fall into place, so you can centre yourself, balance yourself and thrive".

Djokovic was soon 3-1 up in the second set before Del Potro carved out his first break point of the match to level at 3-3. Since the start of Wimbledon, Djokovic has only lost a match and has won two Grand Slam title and the Serb thanked his support system for it. But supported by a dozen or so friends from back home, whose "Ole!" choruses rang around the arena, he climbed up the rankings to a career-high No. 3 by thundering his 100 miles per hour (160 kph) forehands and 135 miles per hour (215 kph) serves. Not against Djokovic, who always seemed to have all the answers - and who said he convinced himself that all of those "Oles" were actually people calling out his own nickname, "Nole".

Even Del Potro accepts that the odds are on Djokovic's side.


"I was playing nearly at my limit all the time, looking for winners with my forehands, backhands, and I couldn't make them because Novak was there every time", Del Potro said.

After three solid service games in the opening set, he threw in two unforced errors to drop serve and the set.

The game went so long that when it ended, with Djokovic holding to 4-all, spectators began leaving their seats, perhaps thinking it was time for a changeover, even though it wasn't.

Djokovic went on to congratulate Del Potro for his achievements despite all the injury trouble and made a massively sporting gesture by saying he knew Del Potro will stand as champion at this podium one day.


"I tried to take the best out of myself in those moments and get myself in this position".

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