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Novak Djokovic sweeps aside del Potro in US Open final

10 September 2018

The Serbian might be seeded 6th but he's making his 8th US Open final appearance, while Del Potro, seeded third, is only playing in a Grand Slam final for just the second time.

Djokovic claimed his second Grand Slam in succession and 14th in his illustrious career with a 6-3 7-6 6-3 victory at Flushing Meadows.

It's the 14 grand slam singles title for Djokovic, which draws him level with Pete Sampras on the all-time list, behind only Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

The Serb then continued the brilliant sportsmanship by consoling a shattered del Potro as he sat courtside. He had the upper hand in the second set tie-breaker but couldn't convert, and after fighting back from a break down in the third set he served up a double fault to give Djokovic a chance for the final break of serve.

To his credit, Del Potro rallied again to recover a break in the third set, but Djokovic was simply too good and sealed the match with a smash before collapsing in delight. "Ole Ole Ole. Delpo, Delpo" reverberated around the stadium in support of Del Potro.

In their first meeting in a Grand Slam final it was Del Potro, back at this stage for the first time since 2009, who won the coin toss and elected to receive under the Arthur Ashe Stadium roof with heavy rain falling in NY.

Djokovic was better than del Potro on their many lengthy exchanges, using his trademark body-twisting, limb-splaying court coverage to get to almost every ball, sneakers squeaking around the blue court in Arthur Ashe Stadium, where the roof was closed because of rain. It was even louder because of the closed roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium to keep out the rain. He depended on his hometown friends, a group of whom have been in NY throughout the fortnight to lead cheers in Arthur Ashe Stadium, and worked his way back to the final at his favorite ATP Tour event.

After missing last year's tournament with an injured right elbow that eventually required surgery, Djokovic rubber-stamped his return the top of his game with another major title to add to his fourth Wimbledon crown in July.

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Past year I was in the preliminary squad but, in the end, not selected. "We had met before as rivals", he explained. We want to have the ball, to create chance, press high and be aggressive.

"To support of my loved ones, my kids, my wife, my team of people that has been there with me through hard times as well".

"Difficult times, but you learn through adversity", Djokovic said.

"I was hoping he was going to be here, but he's not", Djokovic said about Sampras.

"There was always part of me that believed I could come back relatively quickly to the level of tennis that I once was playing", Djokovic, 31, said before Sunday's match.

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. After all he had the far bigger game - as demonstrated in the way he blew both Nadal and Federer off the court in that US Open run - and Djokovic had a habit for pulling out of matches with illness and injury.

This was Djokovic's third championship in NY, along with those in 2011 and 2015.

This was Djokovic's third championship in NY, along with those in 2011 and 2015.

Novak Djokovic sweeps aside del Potro in US Open final