Novak Djokovic dismisses Del Potro to win 3rd US Open title

Championship preview del Potro vs. Djokovic

Djokovic, who won Wimbledon in July, now has three U.S. Open titles and 14 Grand Slam titles in his career, tying him with American Pete Sampras for third place all time.

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.

Djokovic outlasted del Potro to win 6-3, 7-6, 6-3, and although a straight sets win might seem uncomplicated, del Potro had a number of chances, especially in the second set when he had three break points while leading 4-3, in a game that lasted more than 20 minutes.

Djokovic, playing in his eighth final in NY and already the champion in 2011 and 2015, is now just three Slams behind Rafael Nadal and six back from the record 20 held by Roger Federer.

Twelve months ago, Novak Djokovic wasn't even playing in the US Open while trying rehab a nagging elbow injury that eventually required surgery. The most common utterance from chair umpire Alison Hughes aside from the score was undoubtedly, "Quiet please, players are ready", as she tried to stifle the rowdy spectators so del Potro and Djokovic could serve.

"When I had the surgery in my elbow earlier this year, I could truly understand what Juan Martin was going through".

It was only the second set dropped by the Argentine at the tournament.

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Having worked so hard to resist Del Potro's charge, Djokovic saw his tenacity rewarded as Del Potro's forehand again went missing at the worst moment, successive errors from 4-4 in a tie-break proving costly.

The disappointment on Sunday belonged to a teary Del Potro who was back in a Grand Slam final for the first time since the big Argentine won his one and only title at Flushing Meadows in 2009.

And then came Sunday's pivotal game, a 20-minute, 22-point epic.

With the crowd firmly behind him, del Potro battled to the bitter end, levelling both sets two and three after dropping an early break in both, but ultimately the Serb was too solid.

That left Djokovic, who missed the U.S. Open previous year because of a right elbow injury, as the last man standing to defend the "Big Four's" title streak against a man who had broken it once before.

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. "Of course I'm sad because I lose but I'm happy for Novak, you deserved to win", del Potro said.

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