Djokovic dismisses Del Potro to win U.S. Open

Tyler Owen
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.

There appears to be one winning formula for Novak Djokovic when it comes to taking home the US Open title.

Novak Djokovic won the U.S. Open on Sunday, the 14th Grand Slam title of his career. After the third round, he did not lose a single set as he was able to outlast a fan favorite in Del Potro.

An emotion del Potro admitted he was crying before stepping into the conference room following his loss to Novak Djokovic on Monday morning (AEST).

The tension lifted in a marathon eighth game that took 20 minutes to decide, Djokovic finally holding to keep the set on serve at 4-4.

The third and final set almost followed the same script, as Djokovic again broke del Potro to take a 3-1 lead only for the Argentinian to break back and level the set at 3-3.

When it ended, thanks to a three-game closing run by Djokovic, he flung his racket away and landed on his back, arms and legs spread wide.

This was Djokovic's third championship in NY, along with those in 2011 and 2015, as he drew even with Pete Sampras on 14 major to be third all time - trailing only Roger Federer (20) and Rafael Nadal (17). It was also just the latest Slam for the "Big 3" of men's tennis - Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer.

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It was also the third time the 31-year-old Serb - who missed last year's tournament with an elbow injury which sent his career into a mini-crisis - completed the Wimbledon-US Open double. Djokovic, victor of the 2011 and 2015 Opens and a former No. 1, is on a rollicking roll in recent months, including July's Wimbledon title, since having elbow surgery in February. "I don't know when will be my last tournament in this career, but I'm exciting to keep surprising myself doing things like this".

"Of course I'm sad I (lost)", del Potro said. This is the healthiest and fittest Del Potro has felt in years. I feel like these guys, rivalries with these guys, matches with Federer and Nadal, have made me the player I am, have shaped me into the player I am today.

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

The match is being played with the roof closed at Arthur Ashe Stadium because of rain.

Things looked ominous for Del Potro as Djokovic seized control early on, moving magnificently and constructing a number of superb points with precision striking. Del Potro would not rue how many of those could have been his had he been injury-free all those years.

And then came Sunday's pivotal game, a 20-minute, 22-point epic.

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While Simona Halep of Romania retained her top spot on the list, Germany?s Angelique Kerber moved one spot up to acquire the third position. "But I'm happy for Novak and his team".

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