Fans erupt over incredible moment of sportsmanship after US Open final
Fans erupt over incredible moment of sportsmanship after US Open final
US Open: Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro set for clash in Flushing Meadows showdown
10 September, 2018, 06:45
Djokovic sprinted into a 3-1 lead in the third set before a battling Del Potro clung on, hitting back for 3-3.
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 unbelievable atmosphere.
The key was his success with a lung-busting 22-shot rally and he pocketed the set when the 29-year-old del Potro netted a forehand.
The effort took its toll on a suddenly weary-looking Del Potro as a 95-minute set was claimed by Djokovic in the tiebreak. "Ole Ole Ole. Delpo, Delpo" reverberated around the stadium in support of Del Potro.
Djokovic faced similar questions about whether he'd ever get back to another major final with his elbow woes, but after his triumph at Wimbledon in July, and with the more heralded - and older - Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer showing signs of slowing down, another reign of the Djoker looks very real in men's tennis.
"I think most of all, the respect they had for other player, they never went over the line and that's something truly awesome tonight", Djokovic said at the presentation ceremony.
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.
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.
With the Arthur Ashe Stadium roof closed as heavy rain swept NY, conditions were slow and sluggish.
Former world no. 1 missed the US Open last year due to a bothersome elbow that required surgery but post-surgery, Djokovic has returned to the fray and looks confident to lift the title this year.
"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 was hoping he was going to be here, but he's not", Djokovic said about Sampras. He made one last stand by breaking and holding for 3-all. "But I'm happy for Novak and his team".
"Difficult times, but you learn through adversity", Djokovic said.
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.
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