Djokovic legend continues to grow following US Open triumph

May JohnsonSep 10, 2018

After taking just two points off Del Potro's first three service games, Djokovic, in his eighth final in NY and 23rd at the majors, pounced to break for 5-3. But supported by a dozen or so friends from back home, whose "Ole!" choruses rang around the arena, he climbed up the rankings to a career-high No. 3 by thundering his 100 miles per hour (160 kph) forehands and 135 miles per hour (215 kph) serves.

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

In the immediate aftermath of Djokovic's victory, he embraced del Potro at the net in a heartwarming show of class and respect between the friends and foes.

Djokovic was better than del Potro on their many lengthy exchanges, using his trademark body-twisting, limb-splaying court coverage to get to almost every ball, sneakers squeaking around the blue court in Arthur Ashe Stadium, where the roof was closed because of rain.

In a tight opening set, there was only a single break point and Djokovic made it count to go up 5-3 before serving it out.

Djokovic was the favourite in the match considering the fact that this was his eighth US Open final appearance while for Del Potro, this was just his second Grand Slam final appearance after his historic US Open triumph in 2009.

The noise levels inside the Arthur Ashe Stadium was deafening as Djokovic and Del Potro got the crowd roaring with their display on-court.

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It was a brief request, though, unlike her many other pleas for quiet, mainly as fans were shouting and chanting and clapping in support of del Potro.

When it ended, thanks to a three-game closing run by Djokovic, he flung his racket away and landed on his back, arms and legs spread wide.

His victory follows a Wimbledon title that announced his return to the game's top tier after a February surgery waylaid him for a few months. "But I'm happy for Novak and his team".

"When I had the surgery on my elbow I could truly understand what Juan Martin was going through", Djokovic said.

Asked who he dedicated the win to, Djokovic - who has won his last 13 matches after beating rival Roger Federer in the Cincinnati Masters last month - said: "To the support of the loved ones, my kids, my wife, my team of people, a small team of people that have been there with me through hard times as well".

"Of course I'm sad I [lost]", del Potro said. It's awesome. I don't feel sad that I couldn't win Grand Slams because of them.

"You learn from adversity. when you have doubtful moments when things are not working out as you want (them) to".

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