Djokovic wins third US Open, equals Sampras on 14 Grand Slams

Mae Harvey
September 10, 2018

But off the back of a 24-shot rally, Djokovic broke again for 5-3 and he was within tantalising touching distance of his 14th Grand Slam title, just three months after he had left Roland Garros in despair after a shattering quarter-final exit.

A year after missing the U.S. Open because of an injured right elbow that would require surgery, Djokovic showed that he is unquestionably back at his best and back at the top of tennis.

Novak Djokovic defeated Juan Martin del Potro 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 to win the U.S. Open title.

An emotional Del Potro shed tears in his chair at the end of the contest, but the 29-year-old can be hugely proud of his efforts after a thrilling run in the Big Apple. They went back and forth, through eight deuces and all those break opportunities for del Potro, until he slapped one forehand into the net, and another sailed wide. Djokovic has picked up a further 12 majors - a win tonight would take him joint-third in the all-time list with 14 - while Del Potro's career has been decimated by injury, making this his first slam final since that win in 2009.

The sixth seed survived three break points in the following game, an epic that lasted more than 20 minutes, in a pivotal moment.

With the Arthur Ashe Stadium roof closed as heavy rain swept NY, conditions were slow and sluggish. Only Roger Federer (20) and Rafael Nadal (17) have more. "He's my idol. Pete, I love you".

Del Potro led the ensuing tiebreaker, 3-1, before Djokovic recovered to win six of the next seven points and wrap up a 95-minunte second set. Not against Djokovic, who always seemed to have all the answers.

Djokovic and del Potro embrace.

When another forehand error cost Del Potro his serve early in the second, all the momentum was with Djokovic.

When it ended, with Djokovic holding to 4-all, spectators began leaving their seats, perhaps thinking it was time for a changeover, even though it wasn't.

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.

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.

Djokovic went on to congratulate Del Potro for his achievements despite all the injury trouble and made a massively sporting gesture by saying he knew Del Potro will stand as champion at this podium one day. It will be Djokovic's second back-to-back final after winning the Wimbledon in July after returning from injury.

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