Seiko - A new US Open title for Novak Djokovic

Marcus Newton
September 14, 2018

Things started so well for Del Potro, the Argentine looking for a second US Open title following his maiden, and to date only, grand slam win back in 2009.

Djokovic joined Pete Sampras on 14 grand slams after a 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 win over Juan Martin del Potro in Sunday's final at Flushing Meadows.

But in the last eight weeks the 31-year-old has resembled the Grand Slam machine that held all four major titles at the same time in 2016, wining three of his last four events including Wimbledon and U.S. Open.

It was Djokovic's 15th win over the Argentine and fifth in five at the Slams. It was also just the latest Slam for the "Big 3" of men's tennis - Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer.

Djokovic beat Del Potro, who has had his own injury issues, 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-3, and in turn goes level with his hero Pete Sampras or winning 14 career Slam titles.

ESPN drew the joint second-highest TV audience they have ever had for the US Open for her final loss to Naomi Osaka, tied with the final between Djokovic and Roger Federer in 2015.

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

Between them, Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have won 47 of the last 55 slam titles, but Del Potro has no regrets, saying: "It is a big challenge to take these kind of tournaments from them".

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Some two hours after the match, del Potro walked out to the players garden to a greeting from his group of about a dozen friends who have led the cheers from his box, supporters from back home he has credited with keeping his spirits up during the depressing days when he was injured.

"I was hoping [Pete Sampras] was going to be here tonight", Djokovic said during the awards ceremony.

Stream every match at the US Open live on the FOX+ app and catch up on highlights of any action you've missed. He has now won Wimbledon and the US Open in the same year on three occasions (2011, 2015 and 2018).

With the Arthur Ashe Stadium roof closed as heavy rain swept NY, conditions were slow and sluggish. Eventually, he seized that game - and del Potro's best chance to make a match of it.

Federer lost in the fourth round in NY, while Nadal retired from his semifinal against del Potro because of a bad right knee. 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.

Djokovic, who has returned to the calm, cool and collected version of himself that routinely won Grand Slam titles, served out the first set in the next game. "But I was playing nearly at the limit all the time, looking for winners with my forehands, backhands, and I couldn't make it because Novak was there every time".

It was a brief request, though, unlike her many other pleas for quiet, mainly as fans were shouting and chanting and clapping in support of del Potro.

Last year is the only time in the last eight years he failed to pick-up at least one major trophy in a season.

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