Novak Djokovic proved that he is still one of the most competitive male tennis players in the world. He topped Argentinian No. 3 ranked Juan Martin del Potro 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 on Sunday for the last Grand Slam title of the year.
The crowds at Flushing Meadows, New York were still recovering from the drama that ensued on Saturday at the match between Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams. Williams got into a heated exchanged with umpire Carlos Ramos. (Serena was fined $17,000 for her violations.) This match proved to be a more relaxed scene as Djokovic clearly dominated.
The game followed a cyclical nature with Djokovic taking early leads, del Potro trying to fight his way back, and then Djokovic powering through the end of the set. Djokovic won the last three games to conquer the match. At the end of the match, Djokovic threw himself onto the ground in triumph, relief, and exhaustion.
The two faced each other for the 19th time on Sunday, with Djokovic now leading 15-4 in their matches. With his win at Wimbledon in July over South African Kevin Anderson and now this weekend’s win, Djokovic is now at 14 Grand Slam titles. Del Potro had to beat favorite and defending champion Rafael Nadal in the semifinals to get to the finals. He handled the No. 1 ranked Spanish tennis legend and won the game (7-6, 6-2), even after Nadal was coming from his second French Open title in a row.
It has been a long road for Del Potro. He won the U.S. Open back in 2009 and underwent four surgeries on his wrist. Del Potro said of the loss, “‘I’m happy for Novak and his team. They deserve to win.’” The two, who are friends, hugged at the net, and Djokovic consoled del Potro after the match.
This was the Serbian’s third time winning the Grand Slam title in New York; his last wins were in 2015 and 2011. With his 14 titles, he is now tied for third most of all time behind Rafael Nadal with 17 titles and Roger Federer with 20 titles.