Sports

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

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

Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts during his U.S. men's singles finals against Juan Martin del Potro.

Clearly Djokovic will have to neutralize the 6'6" Argentine's blistering serve at the Arthur Ashe Stadium: "Del Potro fired 68 aces during the tournament, winning 82 percent of his first serve points.

A costly double-fault from Del Potro - his first of the match - and a series of errors saw Djokovic move one game away from victory and after three hours and 16 minutes he completed the job with an unstoppable overhead smash and then lying flat on his back on the court in celebration.

He also became just the second man - after Federer - to win three or more titles at three separate Slams and the seventh to win at least three US Opens.

Djokovic's victory, coupled with his July triumph at Wimbledon, ties him with Pete Sampras for the most men's Grand Slam singles titles.

Juan Martin del Potro, of Argentina, returns a shot to Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, during the men's final of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018, in NY.

He closed his win with a yelp, barely audible over del Potro's ebullient fans.

In the tiebreak, Del Potro looked susceptible to forehand errors and Djokovic showed huge courage and quality to take it away from Del Potro, going up 2-0 in the final.

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"When I had the surgery on my elbow I could truly understand what Juan Martin was going through", Djokovic said.

The sixth seed had suffered in the ferocious heat and humidity through the early days of the season's final Grand Slam but dropped only two sets for the tournament and none since the second round. "He's my idol. Pete, I love you".

However, the despair on Sunday belonged to a teary del Potro, who was back in a grand slam final for the first time since his one and only title in NY in 2009.

It all bothered Djokovic, who started yelling and gesturing toward the seats.

The eighth game was an epic, lasting over 20 minutes and featuring eight deuces before Djokovic withstood the pressure to hold.

Never was that more apparent than the game that stood out on this evening: with Djokovic serving while down 4-3 in the second set.

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. A focused Djokovic continued to apply pressure in the third set until Del Potro finally cracked on serve to fall behind 5-3, with the Serb closing out the match with a ferocious overhead victor.

"Of course I'm sad I (lost)", del Potro said.


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