Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Sports | By Sarah Myers

Novak Djokovic sweeps aside del Potro in US Open final

Novak Djokovic sweeps aside del Potro in US Open final

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.

Del Potro was the sentimental favourite as he attempted to win a second slam title nine years after his first, having suffered two serious wrist injuries, the second of which he feared would end his career.

The Serbian tennis star, the champion in 2011 and 2015, was playing his eighth final in NY.

Only Roger Federer (20) and Rafael Nadal (17) have more.

In their first meeting in a Grand Slam final it was Del Potro, back at this stage for the first time since 2009, who won the coin toss and elected to receive under the Arthur Ashe Stadium roof with heavy rain falling in NY. But well done guys, the atmosphere from all of them was wonderful, the support they gave to both Juan Martin and me.

Even his rival for the US Open title, 13-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic, has a hard time rooting against del Potro, the 2009 US Open victor who has painstakingly rebuilt his career after years of wrist injuries threatened to derail it.

Also marking a career-best ranking Monday is Caroline Garcia, who rose to No. 4, the highest for a woman from France since Amelie Mauresmo held that same spot in June 2007.

Del Potro spoke this week about the low point, in 2015, when he considered quitting the sport.

"When I was a kid, I mixed watching soccer and the U.S. Open, that's it", Del Potro said before the match.

Three times, del Potro was a point from breaking and earning the right to serve to make it a set apiece.

Federer lost in the fourth round in NY, while Nadal retired from his semifinal against del Potro because of a bad right knee. A series of missed forehands by del Potro in the tiebreaker put Djokovic back on course.

Newly-crowned US Open champion Novak Djokovic said he was inspired to take up tennis after watching Pete Sampras in action and that matching his Grand Slam record is a dream-come-true moment for him.

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.

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.

The US Open final suddenly appeared to be slipping away from Novak Djokovic. "I really wish him all the best and I know he's going to stand here again with the champions trophy".

"I really felt for Serena". 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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