By Ros Satar

  • Novak Djokovic [6] def. Juan Martin Del Potro [3] 6-3 7-6(4) 6-3
  • Djokovic wins a third US Open title, and his 14th Slam title, tying with Pete Sampras on the all-time list of most Slam titles
  • He is now three titles behind Rafael Nadal, six behind Roger Federer.
NEW YORK, USA – The last Slam of the year came to an end with Novak Djokovic winning a third US Open title, and notching up his 14th Slam, beating Juan Martin Del Potro in straight sets.

 

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Novak Djokovic [6] def. Juan Martin Del Potro [3] 6-3 7-6(4) 6-3

In a Slam that has been dogged by coaching controversies, and meaningless USTA statements on everything under the sun (and heat), Novak Djokovic won a third US Open title in straight sets, beating Juan Martin Del Potro.

From the start of the match, we were in for long rallies in a tight first set. The pair hung toe-to-toe and with extremely small margins. In fact Djokovic’s first break came on just a single break point, at the end of the set, with Djokovic serving out for a 1-0 lead.

The Serb continued to put pressure on Del Potro as the Argentine’s trademark hammer-blow forehand started to falter, resulting in an early break for Djokovic. Del Potro pegged him back and toiled over 22 points, over 20 minutes and three break point chances to get ahead. Yet Djokovic stayed firm, in a game that looked to be the tipping point.

Although Del Potro surged ahead in the tie-break, but Djokovic gradually wore him down to edge ahead once more, going 2-0 up. Despite coming back again from a break, Djokovic’s movement saw him everywhere on the court at once. The end result never looked in doubt, as Djokovic broke once more towards the end of the set, winning a third US Open on his first match point.

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With two Slams back to back to close out a troublesome year, Djokovic is back to World No. 3 as he now ties with Pete Sampras on the all-time Grand Slam title list.

After the match, he told reporters: “Pete Sampras is one of the biggest legends ever to play the game. He was my childhood idol. He was someone I was looking up to. The first actually thing I saw related to tennis on the TV was his first or second Wimbledon championship. That inspired me to start playing tennis.

“There is a lot of significance of me being now shoulder to shoulder in terms of Grand Slam wins with him. It’s truly incredible when you think about it. I watched him win one of his first Wimbledon championships, and I grew up playing and thinking that one day I’ll be able to do what he does. To actually be here, it’s a dream come true.”

For Del Potro, there were tears. Not just for the loss, but to have overcome career threatening injuries to put himself in Slam winning positions again has been a monumental effort.

He said, after the match: “To be honest, I was crying till now. I’m very sad for being a loser today. But Novak deserved to take the trophy. He played a great match, very smart game. I had my opportunities during second and third set.

“But I was playing almost at the limit all the time, looking for winners with my forehands, backhands, and I couldn’t make it because Novak were there every time. He’s a great champion. So I’m glad for him.”

“My wrist is responding good, because I’ve been playing a lot of matches in these two weeks. I feel good with my two-handed backhands, as well. I will keep playing tennis for few more years. 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. I’m very motivate to keep trying to win these titles.”

Djokovic returns to World No. 3 when the new rankings come out on Monday.

 

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