Published: Ср, Сентября 12, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Djokovic finds secret to Grand Slam success in French Alps

Djokovic finds secret to Grand Slam success in French Alps

"I want to say Pete, I love you, you're my idol", said Djokovic of Sampras. The first actual thing I saw related to tennis on the TV was his first or second Wimbledon championship.

Djokovic became the seventh player with at least three U.S. Open titles and has an opportunity to reclaim the No. 1 ranking before the end of the year.

Djokovic's most hard opponent this tournament has been the heat and humidity, so Sunday's cool and wet conditions, resulting in the roof being shut on Arthur Ashe Stadium, were perfectly to his liking.

Djokovic, playing in his eighth final in NY and already the champion in 2011 and 2015, is now just three Slams behind Rafael Nadal and six behind from the all-time record 20 held by Roger Federer. 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. Most predicted the Spaniard as the one most capable of surviving intensely hot, humid conditions as well as night matches that stretch into the early-morning hours at the year's final Grand Slam.

The disappointment on Sunday belonged to a teary Del Potro who was back in a Grand Slam final for the first time since the big Argentine won his one and only title at Flushing Meadows in 2009.

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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. "But at the same time, life showed me that it takes time for good things, it takes time to really build them, for things to fall into place, so you can center yourself, balance yourself and thrive".

He needed four sets to get past 41st-ranked Hungarian Marton Fucsovics in the first round and another to get past 61st-ranked American Tennys Sandgren in the second.

Britain's Alison Hughes, the second woman to umpire a U.S. Open men's singles final, kept a low profile as the two former champions went to work. It's awesome. I don't feel sad that I couldn't win Grand Slams because of them.

Yet Djokovic was ultimately too strong, his ability to counter his opponent's two biggest weapons - Del Potro's serve and forehand - proving key as he triumphed 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 in three hours and 16 minutes. "I'm glad that Novak is the champion". It was even louder because of the closed roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium to keep out the rain. It takes a lot of effort to actually stay poised in this moment.

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