Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates a service break in the 3rd set against Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina in the men's final on day fourteen of the 2018 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
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 will climb above Del Potro to third in the rankings and could yet overtake number one Nadal by the end of the season.
"There is a lot of significance of me being now shoulder to shoulder in terms of Grand Slam wins with him".
The crowd at the Arthur Ashe Stadium had been backing del Potro throughout the tournament and Sunday was no different.
Osaka's father Leonard, who went to NY for her match, said he was beyond excited, and relieved to see her win. "I owe it to them".
The resurgent 31-year-old is now just three slams behind Rafael Nadal and six slams back from Federer.
Nonetheless, Djokovic, who thrives in such situations, showed his class yet again dismantling del Potro, who had been in fine form over the last two weeks in NY.
An eight-time finalist in NY who had only previously lifted the trophy in 2011 and 2015, the Serbian was made to work hard on Sunday as Del Potro came from a break down in the second and third sets.
Ever since being stretched to four sets in his second round against Tennys Sandgren, Djokovic did not drop a set, demolishing the likes of Federer-slayer John Millman, Kei Nishikori and del Potro en route to the top step of the podium. But when Djokovic faced three break points in the following game, an epic that required 22 points to settle, he saved them all. Of course, I'm sad to lose but I'm happy for Novak as well.
Djokovic added: "I would like to congratulate Juan Martin for what he's done in the last four, five years. But Novak has everything to make records in this sport", del Potro told AFP sources.
While Djokovic laid on the ground in ecstasy Sunday, del Potro sat in his chair and cried.
Djokovic's most hard opponent this tournament has been the heat and humidity, so Sunday's cool and wet conditions, resulting in the roof being shut on Arthur Ashe Stadium, were perfectly to his liking. "I try to take the best part of myself in those moments and thrive on the support of my loved ones to get myself in this position".