Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Sport | By Ashley Hunter

Djokovic Beats del Potro for Third US Open Title, 14th Major

Djokovic Beats del Potro for Third US Open Title, 14th Major

Argentine third seed Del Potro, 29, was playing his first Grand Slam final since winning the 2009 US Open, having nearly quit the game in 2015 because of multiple wrist injures.

Aged just 20, Del Potro defeated Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in successive matches to win the 2009 US Open, and the world No 3 was determined to stay competitive, staying firm following a gritty hold in the opening game of the next set. "I was looking for winners with my forehand, backhand, but I couldn't make it, because Novak was there every time".

"I thought of tennis, thought of the emotion that tennis provokes in me in a way".

With the win, Djokovic has now tied Pete Sampras for third on the all-time Grand Slams list. The 31-year-old Serb has never been considered a once-in-a-generation talent, as have Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, the ones above him in the trophy count.

It will also see him rise to number three in the world behind Nadal and Federer - the rankings again reflecting the "Big Three" status they have shared for so long.

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The pair were set to meet in a quarter-final at Flushing Meadows, only for Federer to be stunned by Australian John Millman in the last 16.

Williams was fined £13,000 for her meltdown during he US Open final defeat to Naomi Osaka, which saw her issued with three code violations, including a game penalty after calling Ramos a "thief" for docking her a point. He emphasised he would have relished taking on either - or both, although he admitted that early in his career that wasn't always the case.

"I want to say Pete, I love you, you're my idol", said Djokovic of Sampras. "I'm very sad for being a loser today. I am just one of the guys that have been lucky to be in the same era as them, and it's great.".

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'I find it a bit unusual, they obviously lack a little bit of character'.

Although he was riding high coming into the Open, Djokovic was among the many struggling with crushing heat and humidity in the first week.

The crux of the match came midway through the second set.

Four easy holds later and it was onto a tiebreaker that decided the second set, and ultimately the course of the match as Djokovic capitalised on several bad errors from his opponent to win it 7-4.

Del Potro had the majority of the crowd behind him Sunday, too, especially about a dozen of his friends who accompanied him from his hometown of Tandil during the tournament.

Djokovic said it was the kind of heavyweight clash he's learned to embrace.

"My nickname is Nole", he said. "It will be in my heart for the rest of my life", Del Potro said.

It was only the second set dropped by the Argentine at the tournament. I had my corner, as well. "But also I think we are proud to be close to these legends". It takes a lot of effort to actually stay poised in this moment.

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