Djokovic dismisses Del Potro to win U.S. Open

Championship preview del Potro vs. Djokovic

Championship preview del Potro vs. Djokovic

Novak Djokovic has continued his career renaissance, defeating Juan Martin del Potro in straight sets to claim his third US Open title.

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. He now trails Roger Federer's record of 20 by six and is just three behind Rafael Nadal for second all-time.

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.

When another forehand error cost Del Potro his serve early in the second, all the momentum was with Djokovic.

Juan Martin del Potro, of Argentina, returns a shot to Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, during the men's final of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018, in NY.

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

"When I had my surgery I could truly understand what Juan Martin was going through when he had surgeries that kept him away from the tour for two or three years", added Djokovic.

"I want to say Pete, I love you, you're my idol", said Djokovic of Sampras.

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However, the despair on Sunday belonged to a teary del Potro, who was back in a grand slam final for the first time since his one and only title in NY in 2009. Ahead of the final, Del Potro had fired 68 aces during the tournament, winning 82 percent of his first serve points.

The key was his success with a lung-busting 22-shot rally and he pocketed the set when the 29-year-old del Potro netted a forehand.

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

Nadal, who will spend the next month recovering from tendinitis, will be particularly concerned with how the year-end No. 1 race may unfold, as Djokovic enters a strong period of the season for him traditionally trailing little more than 1,000 points.

The Serb appeared to be on course for an easy victory when he went up a break in the second set to go up 6-3, 3-1.

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

It all bothered Djokovic, who started yelling and gesturing toward the seats.

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