Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Del Potro backs Djokovic to surpass Federer

Rafael Nadal talks with Juan Martin del Potro after retiring from their U.S. Open semifinal match with an injury Modal Trigger Rafael Nadal talks with Juan Martin del Potro after retiring from their U.S. Open semifinal match with an injury. AFP Getty Images
Edward Snyder | 10 September, 2018, 06:46

Brace yourself for a stunning men's singles final between Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro.

Djokovic has 13 Grand Slam titles, while Del Potro has just one, a U.S. Open championship he wrested from then-defending champion Roger Federer back in 2009.

Novak Djokovic sealed his third US Open title and 14th Grand Slam overall, levelling Pete Sampras for third place on the career list, with an immaculate display against Juan Martin del Potro on Sunday.

There was a moment in the match when Del Potro's singing friends managed to distract Djokovic and make him lose his focus but he fought on like a champion and emerged the victor under the closed roof of Arthur Ashe Stadium. He won two Grand Slams in one year.

Novak Djokovic won his 14th Grand Slam title and second in a row by getting through a key 20-minute game to beat 2009 champion Juan Martin del Potro 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-3 in the U.S. Open final. Add in the trophies he has earned at six Australian Opens, one French Open and four Wimbledons, most recently in July, and the 31-year-old Serb pulled even with Pete Sampras for the third-most majors among men, trailing only Roger Federer's 20 and Rafael Nadal's 17. The Serbian tennis ace, now ranked 6th in the world, cruised through early rounds of the tournament and will enter the final with a 13-set winning streak, while on the other hand, Potro booked his berth after Rafael Nadal bowed out in the semis owning to his right knee injury.

"I was so happy to be playing the final against this magnificent idol", said Del Potro of his close friend Djokovic.

However, if we look at the statistics, Djokovic seems to have the upper hand.

After winning the first set 6-3, Djokovic was leading 3-2 in the second set (having broken Del Potro) and was serving to extend his lead to 4-2.




Things looked ominous for Del Potro as Djokovic seized control early on, moving magnificently and constructing a number of superb points with precision striking.

The game went so long that 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. Later, after winning a point, Djokovic put that finger to his ear, as if to say, "Who are you cheering for now?!"

Djokovic also leads Del Potro 14-4 in their head-to-head encounters.

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.

What time the match will start and which channel will LIVE Stream it?

Djokovic kept up the pressure with an early break in the second before Del Potro broke back to end the Serb's run of 23 consecutive holds.

"I tried to take the best out of myself in those moments and get myself in this position".

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