Djokovic, Federer to join Nadal in ATP Finals

Doug Mendoza
September 11, 2018

The 31-year-old Serb clinched back-to-back Grand Slam triumphs by beating Argentine third seed Juan Martin del Potro in Sunday's US Open final.

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 behind from the all-time record 20 held by Roger Federer.

"There was always part of me that imagined and believed and hoped that I can get back [to] the desired level of tennis very soon, " said Djokovic, whose operation was in February.

Amid increasing noise between points and serves, which prompted frequent interventions from chair umpire Alison Hughes, the previously assured Djokovic - who missed the tournament previous year due to an elbow injury - appeared agitated.

"Difficult times but you learn from adversity. when you have doubtful moments when things are not working out as you want (them) to and I try to take the best out of myself in those moments and thrive on the love and support I receive from my closed ones and get myself in this position", Djokovic expressed.

"But I have my personal opinion that maybe the chair umpire should not have pushed Serena to the limit, especially in a Grand Slam final", Djokovic said according to Sandra Harwitt of USA Today.

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

"I was playing nearly at my limit all the time, looking for winners with my forehands, backhands, and I couldn't make them because Novak was there every time", Del Potro said.

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The eighth game was an epic, lasting over 20 minutes and featuring eight deuces before Djokovic withstood the pressure to hold. Del Potro has only dropped one set all tournament, and that was in a tie-breaker to Isner in the quarters.

Amidst the searing heat and disturbing humidity of NY for the past two weeks, Djokovic battled through and rose above it all to shine under the Arthur Ashe Stadium lights for the third time.

Del Potro could take consolation, though, from the vast support he received.

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. Of course, I'm sad to lose but I'm happy for Novak as well.

Novak Djokovic kept getting the ball back, so del Potro would take a bigger whack, trying to find some spot in the corner of the court that would be uncovered. In terms of results, I played finals of Queen's, won Wimbledon, won Cincinnati, and won US Open.

"I was close to (quitting) this sport because I couldn't find a way to fix my wrist problems", he said.

Only one of those wins came in a final, however, with Djokovic knocking off del Potro in three sets to win the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Shanghai in 2013. Against Djokovic, del Potro is 4-14 in his career, including 0-3 in majors.

"When you see a friend holding the trophy, it's good".

Osaka, who was up a set on Williams, saw the match descend into chaos midway through the second set when her opponent was warned for coaching, docked a point for smashing her racket then docked an entire game for calling Ramos a thief and a liar.

Other reports by GizPress

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