Novak Djokovic plays down comparisons to past success after US Open win

14 September, 2018, 19:07 | Author: Amy Huff
  • Serbia's Novak Djokovic reacts after his win against Japan's Kei Nishikori during the Men's Singles Semi Finals match at the 2018 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York

Sixth-seeded Novak Djokovic won his 14th career Grand Slam title, sweeping past Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-3 in the U.S. Open title match on Sunday at Arthur Ashe Stadium in NY.

But off the back of a 24-shot rally, Djokovic broke again for 5-3 and he was within tantalising touching distance of his 14th Grand Slam title, just three months after he had left Roland Garros in despair after a shattering quarter-final exit.

He shares then from now on the third place of the all-time Grand Slam winners list with American player Pete Sempras, but remains at six units behind recordman Roger Federer with 20 trophies to his credit.

Only great rivals Roger Federer (20) and Rafael Nadal (17) have won more.

It was also the third time the 31-year-old Serb - who missed last year's tournament with an elbow injury which sent his career into a mini-crisis - completed the Wimbledon-US Open double.

The three-time US Open victor said his hike in France had given him a fresh perspective on life.

He had three more chances in the eighth, all saved by Djokovic in a marathon 20-minute game which left Hollywood superstar Meryl Streep clasping her head in astonishment. Three times, del Potro was a point from breaking and earning the right to serve to make it a set apiece. "1-2-3;-Osaka-at-No. -7-after-US-Open-title">rightfully back atop the rankings for the first time in 3½ years, with Nadal at No. 1, Federer at No. 2 and, as of Monday, Djokovic at No. 3.

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"To be honest, I was crying till now", Del Potro said at a news conference. He showed off all of his court-covering, foe-frustrating, defense-to-offense skills down the stretch on the way to his third U.S. Open title, claiming the last 16 sets he played. "I watched him win one of his first Wimbledon championships, and I grew up playing and thinking that one day I'll be able to do what he does", Djokovic said. He lost a set in two of his first three matches.

Novak Djokovic was thrilled to match Pete Sampras with a 14th Grand Slam title at the US Open, but he said it's Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal who have made him the player he is.

The second set tie-break proved to be the turning point as the Serbian took it and from that point on, his victory on Arthur Ashe Stadium looked inevitable. "I know he will be back here with the Champions trophy".

At a photo shoot in Manhattan on Sunday, a "very tired" Osaka continued to field questions about the contentious match, in which Williams drew her third penalty with an angry outburst at chair umpire Carlos Ramos, costing her a game when she stood just two games from defeat. "She gave me some experience to play the final, because she played in the Australian Open final".

Over the past few years, Millman has learnt to deal with the gutless bullying from strangers, but says it can be distressing for other players on the tour.

Since the 2003 Wimbledon, the Big 3 have won 51 of 62 Grand Slams on the men's side.

He said: "I think I did a good tournament, but this is a tough loss for me".

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