Del Potro makes extraordinary call on Djokovic overtaking Federer

Tyler Owen
September 10, 2018

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

"You're my idol, I love you", Djokovic said of Sampras after the match.

Remarkably given he began the season with elbow surgery following a hugely frustrating Australian Open, the Serb has now won three of his last four events including back-to-back majors.

Novak Djokovic was thrilled to match Pete Sampras with a 14th Grand Slam title at the US Open on Sunday, but he said it's Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal who have made him the player he is.

The victory puts Djokovic three Slam wins away from Nadal's 17 and six short of Federer's record of 20.

Djokovic had tumbled down the rankings, slowed previous year by an elbow injury and a loss of confidence that accompanied a 54-week title drought.

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.

Juan Martin del Potro has backed Novak Djokovic to end his career as the most successful Grand Slam title victor - surpassing Roger Federer's current mark of 20. Djokovic admitted that at the start of his career, he did not look forward to playing Nadal, Federer.

No sweat! Djokovic admits 2018 US Open toughest mission
Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. "It was not a tennis match at the end". And he revealed afterwards that he had felt a sharp pain in his knee as early as the fifth game.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia poses with the US Open trophy after beating Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina. Of course I'm sad to lose but I'm happy for Novak as well.

With the Arthur Ashe Stadium roof closed as heavy rain swept NY, conditions were slow and sluggish.

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.

He picked up the pace with straight-sets victories over France's Richard Gasquet, Portugal's Joao Sousa, Millman and 2014 finalist Kei Nishikori to arrive at a title tilt with good friend Del Potro.

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.

Del Potro was looking at having to become the first man since Pancho Gonzales in 1949 to win the USA title from two sets down.

Responding to the chants from the crowd for Del Potro, Djokovic said, "This might sound amusing, but my nickname is Nole. It takes a lot of effort to actually stay poised in this moment".

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