Djokovic claims 14th major title with US Open victory over Del Potro

Ross Houston
September 10, 2018

It was a magnificent night of tennis from both players, where Djokovic's athleticism, court coverage and tennis brains came out triumphant against Del Potro's big serve and forehand.

The 31-year-old Serb won 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 to earn his third triumph in NY and equal American great Pete Sampras' haul of major trophies.

The 31-year-old Serb is now just three behind Rafael Nadal and six back from Federer. But del Potro not only stuck with it, he surged up to a career-high No. 3 in the rankings last month on the strength of a semifinal run at the French Open and a victory over Federer to win Indian Wells.

"I feel like the rivalries with these guys, the matches with Federer and Nadal, have made me the player I am, have shaped me into the player I am today". He won two Grand Slams in one year. Nadal was two sets down when he shook his head and said he had to retire. Federer, another favorite here and the No. 2 seed, was ousted in the fourth round.

Del Potro backed Djokovic to surpass Federer's mark of 20 Slams.

What time is the Novak Djokovic vs Juan Martin del Potro US Open 2018 match?

"I was close to (quitting) this sport because I couldn't find a way to fix my wrist problems", he said.

"I've been during all my career learning with Novak, Roger, Rafa, seeing them winning these events very often". But well done guys, the atmosphere from all of them was fantastic, the support they gave to both Juan Martin and me. Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) 5 980 5.

Djokovic's most hard opponent this tournament has been the heat and humidity, so Sunday's cool and wet conditions, resulting in the roof being shut on Arthur Ashe Stadium, were perfectly to his liking. And there could well be an encore as Djokovic had a momentary lapse in concentration while faced with the dual attack from the crowd and del Potro's groundstrokes.

"When the roof is closed, trust me, it's very, very loud down there".

Throughout the match, Djokovic patiently prodded del Potro with shape and slice, repeatedly turning defense into attack with unrelenting depth and precision that kept the Argentine on his back foot for much of the three-hour, 16-minute match.

Eventually, the Serb held. He had all but deflated.

He overcame a 95-minute set, the longest of the tournament, to beat Juan Martin del Potro 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-3.

With the quality of tennis only on the rise, the noise level inside the Arthur Ashe Stadium was deafening.

Djokovic said he believes del Potro will win another major title.

It was only the second set dropped by the Argentine at the tournament.

Djokovic and del Potro exchanged a hug, as per usual in their tussles.

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