Published: Wed, September 12, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Reaction: Players near and far offer congratulations to Novak Djokovic

Reaction: Players near and far offer congratulations to Novak Djokovic

Williams took 36% of her return points.

The US Open should have been one of the showpiece events of the sporting summer.

When asked if the 31-year old Serbian could break Federer's record, Del Potro sounded quite confident as he said, "Of course he can". 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.

Denis Shapovalov pushed Kevin Anderson to five sets, Alex de Minaur did likewise to Marin Cilic and Borna Coric was beaten by a rampant Del Potro.

The tennis world is split over whether the 47-year-old should have used greater discretion before penalising Williams because of the actions of her coach - or given her another warning before docking her a game for verbal abuse.

Three operations to his left wrist mean del Potro's once potent backhand has been downgraded to mostly a slice, although there were encouraging signs at the US Open.

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Supreme: Novak Djokovic has moved into a tie for third on the list of men's grand slam winners. "I was just trying to focus on myself at that time".

There are those that see something a little more calculating in the Djokovic make-up, a player prone to affectation.

That seemed to take some of the fight out of the Argentine who went down 7-4 in the eventual tiebreak. From there Djokovic comfortably served out the set.

Del Potro had a 3-1 lead in the tiebreaker before Djokovic recovered to take it.

Admitting it would have been hard to believe back in February that he would go on to collect such prestigious titles this year, he also felt the barren spell had actually helped get him back on track.

He was in tears afterward, with both Djokovic and John McEnroe coming over to give him a consoling pat on the shoulder as he sat on his chair waiting for the trophy presentation.

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The end was near and when Djokovic put away a smash on a first match point, he fell onto the court on his back. Twice, the Serb tried to attack at the net.

Djokovic was far superior to del Potro in the opening set, then dropped three consecutive games in the second to trail 4-3.

While Streep was beside herself, Jerry Seinfeld had more of a skeptical look. What was different was that the quality of tennis only kept getting better.

Djokovic and Del Potro walked onto Arthur Ashe Stadium court with the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center still buzzing over the controversial women's final on Saturday, won by Japan's Naomi Osaka after Serena Williams incurred three code violations. From admitting to feeling like someone playing his "first match" Djokovic is now back to his vintage best and winning on the sport's biggest stages.

But the twist of the tale happened when leading 4-3, Djokovic broke Del Potro yet again to enforce a third break in the third set and set up the match on his serve.

Something in the Alpine air clearly agreed with him, though, and he went on to triumph at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open tune-up in Cincinnati and then in NY to grab his 14th career Grand Slam title, putting him third on the all-time list.

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