On Sunday, Novak Djokovic proved that he is still one of the most competitive male tennis players in the world. He beat Argentinian No. 3 ranked Juan Martin del Potro 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 for the last Grand Slam title of the year.
The crowds at Flushing Meadows, New York were still recovering from the drama which ensued during Saturday’s match between Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams. On Saturday, Williams got into a heated exchanged with umpire Carlos Ramos and was subsequently fined $17,000 for her alleged violations. Sunday’s match proved to be a more relaxed scene as Djokovic clearly dominated.
The game followed a cyclical nature: Djokovic took early leads, del Potro attempted to fight his way back, and Djokovic ultimately powered 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 a mixture of triumph and exhaustion.
The two players faced each other for the 19th time on Sunday, with Djokovic leading 15-4 in their matches. Djokovic won at Wimbledon in July over South African Kevin Anderson, as well. With this weekend’s win, Djokovic now holds 14 Grand Slam titles.
Del Potro had to beat defending champion Rafael Nadal in the semifinals in order to progress to the finals. He handled the No. 1 ranked Spanish tennis legend and won the game (7-6, 6-2), despite the fact that Nadal had just won 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 has undergone four wrist surgeries.
Regarding his loss, Del Potro stated, “‘I’m happy for Novak and his team. They deserve to win.’”
Djokovic and Del Potro, who are friends, hugged at the net. Djokovic also 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.
Featured Image via Joshua Sadli