The much-anticipated US Open No. 1 v No. 2 final between Novak Djokovic nad Roger Federer lived up to the hype as Djokovic won his 10th career Grand Slam title beating his rival 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4.
Djokovic is now back to even against Federer 20-20 after beating the Swiss for a third straight time in Major final after two Wimbledons the last two years.
“To win against one of the biggest rivals,” Djokovic said. “All-time Grand Slam champion, somebody that, you know, always keeps on fighting till the last point, keeps making you play an extra shot, yeah, all these things now are very special to me. Obviously I owe a great gratitude to my team and for making sure I can perform as well as I did, you know, all these years. And tonight is a night that I will definitely remember for a long time.
“Now actually sitting down here with this trophy and reflecting on what I have achieved, it’s quite incredible. So I’m definitely very satisfied and proud of that.”
The match was delayed about three hours due to rain, and Federer looked the more sluggish player from the start when the match began in the coolest conditions of the tournament.
Federer had served so great all summer, but was promptly broken twice in the opening set as Djokovic took the opener, overcoming an early tumble on the hardcourts which gave the Swiss a break.
As he had in his three prior Slam finals this season, the Serb couldn;t sustain the lead as Federer found his serve, breaking Djokovic to win the set 7-5.
In the third, the two traded early break before Federer was broken again.
With Federer fading and down 2 sets to 1, Djokovic jumped out to a 5-2 lead, then held off a furious rally from Federer who got one break back and then held two more break chances before Djokovic took the match on his first match point.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 14, 2015
“5-2 serving, I thought, Okay, now this is the time to finish it off, but it wasn’t,” Djokovic admitted. “He showed once again why he’s competing in such a high level for so many years.
“Again, he never stepped back, and he always made me play an extra shot, extra shot, kept pushing. Yeah, I was fortunate to come up with some big serves when I needed to. You know, serve was not really a strong link tonight for me, but in the important moments I got a couple of free points in the last game on serve, and that’s what matters.”
Djokovic has now won three Slams for the second in a season after 2011. And he locks up the World No. 1 ranking.
“It’s been an incredible season,” he said. “I’m very fortunate to experience a great success this year. The season is not over, but the Grand Slam is over. The biggest tournaments that I have played this year, as anybody else, and I won three out of four. It’s more than I could ask for, definitely.”
Djokovic’s 10 Slams ties him with Bill Tilden, and puts him with Roger Federer’s 17 and Rafael Nadal’s 14 as players with double digits Slams on the tour.
At 34, and after one of his best summers, will Federer have the chance again at reaching 18?
“I am very disappointed,’ Federer said. “I had my chances on my racquet. I should never been down in the score the way I was. But Novak did a great job of fending them off, and, you know, all of that. It was a tough night, but still, I don’t know, thrilling at the same time.”
Federer’s problem included a bunch of errors off the ground and finishing just 4/23 on break point chances for the match.
“I had too many break chances,” Federer said. ‘Of course some of them I could have done better, should have done better, you know, all these things. Surely he didn’t give me much, you know, and all that, that’s for sure, but still I should have done better.”
Federer, though, managed to connect on six of his SABR shots, winning four, breaking Djokovic in one early game he used it and creating a double fault on another.
“I knew he’s going to be aggressive,” Djokovic said. “He’s going to try to disrupt my rhythm, and he’s going to put a lot of variety in his game. slice, chip and charge, come to the net, serve and volley. Which he did. But I was ready for it. I was ready for the battle. That’s what it was. Three hours, 20 minutes. We pushed each other to the limit, as we always do.
“It’s an ultimate challenge that I can have now winning against Roger back to back finals in Wimbledon and here, US Open. It’s tremendous. I’m really, really proud of it.”
Players to win 3 or more Grand Slam in a Season (Open Era):
2015 Novak Djokovic (AUS, Wim, US)
2011 Novak Djokovic (AUS, Wim, US)
2010 Rafael Nadal (FRA, Wim, US)
2007 Roger Federer (AUS, Wim, US)
2006 Roger Federer (AUS, Wim, US)
2004 Roger Federer (AUS, Wim, US)
1988 Mats Wilander (AUS, FRA, US)
1974 Jimmy Connors (AUS, Wim, US)
1969 Rod Laver (AUS, FRA, Wim, US)
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