Djokovic headed for bright finish with U.S. Open win
11 September, 2018, 02:31 | Author: Brenda Erickson
Add in the trophies he has earned at six Australian Opens, one French Open and four Wimbledons, most recently in July, and the 31-year-old Serb pulled even with Pete Sampras for the third-most majors among men, trailing only Roger Federer's 20 and Rafael Nadal's 17.
"I didn't expect to get this kind of emotions playing tennis again".
Since playing on the grass at Queen's Club in June, Djokovic has only lost two matches, while he extended his imposing winning record over Del Potro to 15-4.
"To support of my loved ones, my kids, my wife, my team of people that has been there with me through hard times as well. Novak has everything to make records in this sport", said the Argentine.
For Del Potro, it was a heartbreaking experience coming in just his second Slam final, nine years after he was crowned US Open champion.
In a nice gesture, Djokovic consoled del Potro moments after he was seen weeping in his chair. But even the straight-sets win had its moments, moments of vintage Djokovic: an on-the-line victor, an overhead smash, a passing shot, a backhand cracker.
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.
Del Potro might have beaten other players Sunday, same as some of the losses to Federer and Nadal through the years may have been victories against lesser foes.
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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.
"I won my only Grand Slam here", del Potro said.
South Africa's Lloyd Harris, who reached the main draw of Grand Slam for the first time at the US Open, moved up 14 spots to a career-high 131.
Djokovic says he owes his own success to the rivalries which he has developed with 37-year-old Federer and 32-year-old Nadal over the past decade.
The Serbian had to endure a dramatic 20-minute service game in which his opponent had three more break points but could not take them.
He was also taking longer and longer to serve, but dug deep to hold for 4-4 in a hugely dramatic game lasting just over 20 minutes.
With all the singing and noise levels inside the stadium, it felt to Djokovic like he was at a football match but he thanked the fans of both sides for creating such an fantastic atmosphere. He has now won Wimbledon and the US Open in the same year on three occasions (2011, 2015 and 2018).
Djokovic was far superior to del Potro in the opening set, then dropped three consecutive games in the second to trail 4-3.
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Novak Djokovic Wins the U.S. Open
The eighth game was an epic, lasting over 20 minutes and featuring eight deuces before Djokovic withstood the pressure to hold. 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.