Djokovic Dumps Del Potro For 3rd US Open Title, 14th Grand Slam
by Sean Randall | September 10th, 2018, 12:50 am

Novak Djokovic cruised to his second straight Grand Slam title Sunday night in New York, taking a third US Open crown with a convincing 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-3 victory over former champion Juan Martin Del Potro.

Ever since that Roger Federer match in the Cincinnati final, Djokovic has been on another dimension, and it was no different tonight, and other than those matches in the heat, he’s been awesomely good.

The Serb dominated Del Potro early, missing only four returns in the first 40 minutes of the match, pressuring the Argentine at every turn, just getting that extra ball back, that extra return of serve back. And it was working.

I thought Djokovic would really go after the weaker Delpo backhand, and he did. But the big guy’s backhand actually held up pretty darn well to test. What surprisingly didn’t was his forehand which really never got into full flight. (Or maybe that was just the Djokovic Effect?)

Things were going one-way as Djokovic led 6-3, 3-1, and that’s when Novak’s backhand started to spray. Delpo got his game going and moments later he broke back to level.

The crowd went into a frenzy. And the chants for Delpo grew louder. We had a match!

More chances for Delpo came in Novak’s next service game. But Djokovic saved three break threats during an epic 20-minute, 22-point eighth game.

With Delpo’s play on the rise, they went to a breaker and he grabbed an early 3-1 edge. Was the tide turning? Nope! Djokovic answered back winning six of the next seven points to take the second and all but put the match to bed.

After a 95-minute set, there wasn’t much hope of a Delpo comeback at this point.

In the third, Djokovic broke for a 3-1, but Delpo got it right back after a serve clock time warning rattled the Serb on break point.

Djokovic, though, was just too strong on the night. Moving around the court like a gazelle. Neutralizing the fearsome Delpo forehand, and forcing the issue at the net – he finished 28/37 at the net!

He took the last three games and collapsed to the court in a mix of relief and perhaps disbelief after what he went through the first four months.

This was a guy who was losing to Taro Daniel in Miami. And now he’s won two straight Grand Slams!

“If you told me in February this year when I got the surgery that I’ll win Wimbledon, US Open, and Cincinnati, would be hard to believe,” Djokovic said. “But at the same time there was always part of me that imagined and believed and hoped that I can get back on the desired level of tennis very soon.

“I expected, to be honest, quite frank, after surgery that I’ll be back on a high level quite fast. But, you know, it took me actually three, four months really. In that process, I learned a lot about myself, learned to be patient, which was never really a stronger side of me.

“But at the same time, you know, life showed me that it takes time for good things, it takes time to really build them, for things to fall into place, so you can center yourself, balance yourself and thrive. The last two months have been terrific.”

Djokovic’s title puts him at 14 Grand Slam titles, even with the great Pete Sampras who also won his 14th at age 31.

“Pete Sampras is one of the biggest legends ever to play the game,” added Djokovic. “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.”

And for a third time he’s won both Wimbledon and the US Open in the same year.

Del Potro was appearing in his first Grand Slam final in nine years when he won the US Open, the largest gap of anyone between finals. But the Argentine who advanced over a wounded Rafael Nadal on Friday, couldn’t duplicate the feat from 2009.

“I was crying till now,” Del Potro said. “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.”

Del Potro finished with just 31 winners and 47 unforced errors, or a -16 ratio. And that was hard to overcome.

“I take the risk with my forehands. I’ve been doing that all the match,” said Delpo. “Sometimes it go in, and sometimes I miss it. But it’s the only way to beat these kind of players. You have to be a perfect game during more than three hours. Sometimes you couldn’t make it. But my mistakes was because the level of Novak. He plays really well.

“Novak is too fast. His defense are pretty good. But I expected the game like we played today. When you have chances against the top guys, and you couldn’t make it, then they take advantage of the game. It’s really difficult to beat a player like Novak.

“But I did a big effort also, and I’m proud for that.”

And Delpo should be proud. And I think this bodes really well for him next year. Had this court played a little quicker like it did in 2009, maybe he wins tonight. But he’ll get another chance in a final because he genuinely wants it.

Next up for Djokovic will be a bid to chase down Nadal for the No. 1 ranking. And with Rafa out injured for the next month and Federer also likely taking time off, just a little over a 1,000 point behind, Djokovic is probably now the favorite to finish No. 1!

Novak finished the US Open winning 16 straight sets and he’s won 13 straight matches since that Canada loss.

And that’s all even more remarkable when you consider where his game was at just in April. Then again, this is exactly what pro tennis does. Once you think you have it figured out, here comes the next twist.

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22 Comments for Djokovic Dumps Del Potro For 3rd US Open Title, 14th Grand Slam

Mystic - Willow Says:

Congrats to Novak and his die hard fans Danica, BBB, Django, Michael, Van Persie, and even the ones i dont get along with , your guys back and looking very good ….

Mystic - Willow Says:

Sorry to Chofer and the much missed EL-Matador and Emily, cheer up guys , your guy had an amazing fortnight and such be very proud ….

Mystic - Willow Says:

Sounds like the match was an anti climax though guys, expected a better final to be honest ….

Margot Says:

Wow! Nole equals Pete Sampras. Amazing. Huge congrats to him, and his fans VP. BB. et al. I think he’s got 2 more years of slam possibilities left and, if he does well, that’s sure gonna throw the tiger amid the goats.
Commies to chofer and el matador. I thought your man would get at least a set TBH but Nole always raises his game when it matters most.
chofer: good job that Mitch isn’t a betting man, or he might’ve been tempted on a final throw of the dice and lost it all.
Think Josh has won our challenge so huge congrats to him and RZ who,I think, came second. And thanks to RZ for setting it up. Always sad when it’s the last slam of the year :(

BBB Says:

Thanks all! It’s fun to see someone dig himself out of a hole. You certainly wouldn’t have thought he’d win two majors based on how he played the first half of the year.

I feel for DelPo. There was no way he was going to hit through that court.

gonzalowski Says:

Nole, this guy is (legends level speaking) so good… again in the road to fighting for nº 1 and Goat.
Oh he should listen to Pepe againn !! 😓😓

SG1 Says:

If delpo had made that high forehand at 3-1 in the tie break I think this could have turned into one of the better finals in recent memory. Then again, that’s what Novak does to his opponents. He makes them go for more than they need to or should. Great year for Novak. Both Federer and nadal had added 3 majors during Novak’s injury. He’s now jumped back into slam race. I don’t see him catching Federer but nadal is now in his cross hairs. The AO is Novak’s best slam so it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that he is within in 1 slam of nadal going into RG next year.

SG1 Says:

Within 2 slams…sorry.

Truth Says:

People still whine that he did nothing special in consecutive Slams again. Thats funny because they were at Fedal’s feet with worship.

Speaking of worship, without the guru and after 2 years of weak elbow and poor speed on court, he is back to real #1 position.
He tried to hide the weakness at the 2016 US Open but it’s clear that he was nowhere at the level of today.
Pa lot of folks say he has only 1 or 2 years of great Slams.
They’ll be in a world of pain when Novak wins over 20 Slams.
Everyone knew he was far superior to Sampras in 2015. Sampras did nothing for years and hardly won at the French Open.

SG1 Says:

Great tournament for delpo. He will be disappointed but the court conditions didn’t favour him. I was hoping he would pull off the win but in the back of my head I doubted he could overcome Novak who’s played so well for the past two weeks. The past couple of months actually.

skeezer Says:

Congrats, Nole’s ROS was on full display yesterday, as well as his awesome groundies. You guy is back, and to me he doesn’t even physcailly look in full flight yet!
You’re right the conditions didn’t favor Delpo. The court was so dang slow he couldn’t get his FH in full flight, and as a result at critical times overhitting it to cause the error. Furthermore, it is a good matchup for Nole, as its obvious he would rather see flat hard serves that tricky ones.
Don’t see anyone stopping Noile anytime soon, seems like he is going to get a few more slams in before he is done.

Mystic - Willow Says:

As a Rafa fan im perfectly fine with Novak surpassing Rafa if he does, Rafas still an all time great and thats more than good enough for me, the thing i wish for is Andy and Stan managing to regain their glory days too, however with both crocked, and father time catching up with Federer, and a question mark over Rafa, and no new player on the horizon, it looks way open for Novak to dominate again and clear the field again ….

Mystic - Willow Says:

It was supposed to be a competitive great final, but it turned out to be a damp squib ….

Giles Says:

This US Open was ultra slow by design which suited joker. The AO has been sped up quite a bit over the last few years in comparison and yet you people are counting on joker winning there? Do not understand. Please explain.

chris ford1 Says:

Willow it wasn’t as close as you might have hoped – but the tennis was excellent. Del Potro was playing very well and showed why he beat Rafa and got to the Finals he is a dangerous guy again, but Djokovic had one of the finest matches of his life. Only 1 ace, but his defense and movement were spectacular and he was precision, get Juan stretched out to hit a short ball back off either wing and sensing the moment, pounce to net for the putaway.
It destroyed Delpo.

Giles Says:
This guy works for the atp and joker. Is this not a conflict of interests?

Daniel Says:

Agree SG, catching Federer 20 seems a tally Rider Now for Djoko who is 31 and a half.

The positive for him os last time he Win Wimby-USO back to back he went on to also win AO (2011-2012), (2015-2016).

He aslo Now os better than Nadal in 3 of 4 Slams bar RG, Dame as Federer. Yeshua, they each have 3 but Djoko has 8 finals and a 69/10 Record way better than Nadal.

He is fightibg with Nadal for 5th tear End #1 and already have more weeks than him, should he brekaer the tie and get close in Masters count again, which he only trails 31-33. His case is gonna get stronger and stronger.

Only Record left for him to surpass Nadal Will be Slam Count, which his resume os already more balanced.

AO-RG next tear Will be huge. If Fed wuns AO, 21 will be out of reach.
If Djoko wins RG and not Nadal (Double varrer Slam and get gets closer to Nadal nullifying his best chance to increase and further distance humself from Djokovic.

Those next 2 Slams will be pivotsl for the there. All Slams até but as seems we are reaching the finish LINE of GOAT debate they are more and more important.

Mystic - Willow Says:

Chris Ford 1 err if you say so, im not interested in the over bearing cliches you seem to always use, like excellent tennis, close match, coludve gone either way, lucky , unlucky etc, its all quite condescending from you, none of that matters to me, even if the the tennis had been ugly, wouldve still liked to have seen a closer match, this wasnt ….

Czarlazar Says:

This talk about catching Fed’s 20 slams or Rafa’s 17 is irrelevant. He’s secured his place in tennis history and is as legitimate a GOAT as either of those two or anyone before them. He’s got a winning record against Fedal and absolute dominance against most everyone else. He’s got the highest winning percentage against top 10 opponents, all nine Masters titles, four Slams in a row, plenty of time as #1, etc. etc. Even if he hangs it up today, he’s done it all and doesn’t need another Slam to prove anything. However, and unfortunately for his competitors, multiple more Slams are coming and won’t end as long as he’s healthy and enjoying his time on court.

chris ford1 Says:

Willow, if you cannot recognize the excellence of JM del Potro all Slam long and the true brilliant play of Djokovic it took to defeat him, I suggest you are trying to follow a sport you do not understand.
I suggest you look into saltwater marsh bogging or curling or US female bikini mud wrestling instead. Simpler sports and rules.

Mystic - Willow Says:

Chris Ford 1 i dare say i wouldve been more interesting than watching this final lol ….

RZ Says:

Just got back into town and back online. Congrats to Novak and his fans here. If the indoor season coming up next, I expect that he will end the year as number 1.

In terms of the racket bracket, Joshua and I tied at the top. So the tiebreaker had to be used to determine the winner. Novak served only one ace during the final, and I had put 13 Aces for the winner while Joshua put 19. So it looks like I pick up my second bracket win this season, just edging out Joshua. Thanks to all who played! We’ll do it again for the Australian Open

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