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Novak Djokovic 5-3 Juan Martin Del Potro in first set

10 September 2018

Novak Djokovic has continued his career renaissance, defeating Juan Martin del Potro in straight sets to claim his third US Open title.

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 a two-time US Open champ and 13-time Grand Slam victor, was just that much better than Nishikori in a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 win to reach his record-tying eighth final in NY.

The tiebreaker was resolved thanks to more del Potro miscues on his forehand side, as he looked more and more worn out.

Federer lost in the fourth round in NY, while Nadal retired from his semifinal against del Potro because of a bad right knee.

A gloomy season that started with elbow surgery following the Australian Open is turning into a brilliant finish for the 31-year-old Serb who has now won three of his last four events including back-to-back majors at Wimbledon and Flushing Meadows.

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"I think most of all, the respect they had for other player, they never went over the line and that's something truly incredible tonight", Djokovic said at the presentation ceremony.

The famously emotional Del Potro could not contain his emotions as he sat in his chair after the match and Djokovic made a point of consoling him.

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.

Del Potro led the ensuing tiebreaker, 3-1, before Djokovic recovered to win six of the next seven points and wrap up a 95-minunte second set.

However, if we look at the statistics, Djokovic seems to have the upper hand.

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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.

Djokovic and del Potro embrace. "But Novak has everything to make records in this sport". Later, after winning a point, Djokovic put that finger to his ear, as if to say, "Who are you cheering for now?!"

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Brawn, he suggested, may have its day on Sunday.

"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.

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For Djokovic, it was an illustration of him growing into the championships as he took his run of consecutive sets won to 14, stretching back to the second round against Tennys Sandgren.

Novak Djokovic 5-3 Juan Martin Del Potro in first set