Novak Djokovic was just too good for Juan Martin del Potro in Sunday’s US open final, racing away to a straight sets win and his third title in New York.
The sixth seed dominated the match from the off as he triumphed 6-3, 7-6(7-4), 6-3 for a second successive grand slam title and the perfect end to a year that saw the Serb recover from a loss of form and a serious elbow injury.
The win also marked Djokovic’s 14th grand slam title, lifting him into a tie with Pete Sampras in third place on the all-time list.
Things started so well for Del Potro, the Argentine looking for a second US Open title following his maiden, and to date only, grand slam win back in 2009.
His first three service games were comfortable as he won 12 out of 14 points thanks to a succession of big first serves, but it all started to go wrong in game eight as Del Potro contrived to lose serve from 40-0 up to leave Djokovic to serve for the set, a chance he wasn’t going to pass up.
The second set immediately saw the Argentine under pressure on his serve, and though he managed to fend off Djokovic in game one, the relentless pressure told in game three as Del Potro sprayed two forehand errors to lose serve again.
Credit to Del Potro as he managed to get things back on track in game six, breaking Djokovic with his first chance to level the match and then holding comfortably.
The 29-year old then missed a golden opportunity in game eight, failing to take one of three break chances during a 20-minute game that saw Djokovic jeered by spectators as he approached the umpire mid-game to complain about the balls, the packed crowd sensing he was just playing for time.
Four easy holds later and it was onto a tiebreaker that decided the second set, and ultimately the course of the match as Djokovic capitalised on several bad errors from his opponent to win it 7-4.
The final set began in the same vein as the first two, Djokovic gaining first blood with a break in game four, and although Del Potro managed to hit straight back, he could do little to halt the relentless pressure from the sixth seed.
That pressure told in game eight, leaving Djokovic needing just a regulation hold to claim a superbly crafted third US Open title.
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