Djokovic dismisses Del Potro to win U.S. Open

Ruben Holloway
September 14, 2018

Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates his victory over Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina during their 2018 US Open men's singles final match on September 9, 2018 in NY.

He is now set to rise to third in the ATP rankings behind Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, the only two men to have claimed more slam titles, but can justifiably claim to be the best player in the world at present.

Del Potro said he was most proud of not giving up in pursuit of another Grand Slam final, adding: "I got it after nine years, which is incredible to me because the US Open is my favourite tournament and I'm proud of that".

"You can win or lose a trophy but the love of the crowd is even bigger than the tournament and that's what I got".

"To the support of the loved ones, my kids, my wife, my small team of people that has been there with me through hard times as well", added the Serb who underwent elbow surgery after the Australian Open in January.

A year after missing the 2017 US Open because of an injured right elbow that would require surgery, Djokovic showed that he is unquestionably back at his best and back at the top of tennis.

"I can't believe she managed to get all the way up", Djokovic said.

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All that frustration was washed away when he struck the overhead victor to clinch victory over Del Potro, Djokovic falling to his back, arms and legs spread savouring the moment.

It came in a final which was business-like rather than thrilling, a relief for a tournament still reeling from the controversial women's final on Saturday.

"I learned a lot about myself, learned to be patient, which was never really a stronger side of me", Djokovic said.

"Of course, I'm sad because I lost but I'm happy for Novak and his team".

Djokovic beat Del Potro, who has had his own injury issues, 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-3, and in turn goes level with his hero Pete Sampras or winning 14 career Slam titles.

While there was joy in victory there was none to be taken from beating a teary Del Potro, who knows the pain of a comeback having undergone four wrist surgeries that caused him to miss 14 Grand Slams and at one point looked to be derailing his career.

"Federer might have been doing it for over 20 years but Djokovic's peak has been so recent when the prize has gotten so big", explains Kurt Badenhausen, senior editor at Forbes magazine.

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Djokovic began the second set in the same vein applying huge pressure on Del Potro's serve.

The final set began in the same vein as the first two, Djokovic gaining first blood with a break in game four, and although Del Potro managed to hit straight back, he could do little to halt the relentless pressure from the sixth seed.

He had three more chances in the eighth, all saved by Djokovic in a marathon 20-minute game which left Hollywood superstar Meryl Streep clasping her head in astonishment.

Djokovic was far superior to del Potro in the opening set, then dropped three consecutive games in the second to trail 4-3.

The imperious Swiss star won the first of his 20-and-counting grand slam titles at Wimbledon in 2003.

Djokovic seemed on his way to a smooth victory with a 3-1 lead in the third set, but Del Potro wasn't quite ready to surrender.

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