US Open: Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro set for clash in Flushing Meadows showdown
10 September, 2018, 06:44
A series of missed forehands by del Potro in the tiebreaker put Djokovic back on course.
With all the singing and noise levels inside the stadium, it felt to Djokovic like he was at a football match but he thanked the fans of both sides for creating such an wonderful atmosphere. "He will be the favourite to win on Sunday", Del Potro said. And it all started with Djokovic getting erked by crowd reaction and constant singing for Del Potro.
"We are proud to be close to these legends", Del Potro said.
The Serbian fans were not behind. 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.
Del Potro, 29, won the only Grand Slam title of his career by upsetting Federer in NY in 2009, but couldn't swing the upset Sunday.
Djokovic, the No. 6 seed, missed this tournament past year as he struggled with an elbow injury that ultimately required surgery.
"When I had the surgery of my elbow earlier this year, I could truly understand what Juan Martin was going through with his surgeries for 2-3 years that kept him away from tour". "But I'm happy for Novak and his team".
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.
"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.
"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. "I will see you soon, on the court I hope".
Novak Djokovic celebrates with the trophy after winning the 2018 US Open title. He made one last stand by breaking and holding for 3-all. During the time in-between, he had four wrist surgeries, including three on his left wrist, and contemplated quitting the sport altogether.
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.
This was Djokovic's third championship in NY, along with those in 2011 and 2015.
So, a potential deal around the trade deadline would make sense but may depend on how well the team is doing at the time. That has led to a stalemate that has had Seattle entertaining trade offers for Thomas since last spring.
Each man blew chances to gain control and perhaps have a much quicker ending to a match that had wild swings of momentum. She will play the victor of Tuesday's night match between Serena Williams and Karolina Pliskova in the last four.
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