Published: Mon, September 10, 2018
Sport | By Stuart Potter

Novak Djokovic comforts tearful Juan Martin Del Potro in touching moment

Novak Djokovic comforts tearful Juan Martin Del Potro in touching moment

The Novak Djokovic vs Juan Martin del Potro US Open 2018 men's singles final match will start at 1.30 am IST on Sepetember 10 (late Sunday night in India).

A series of missed forehands by del Potro in the tiebreaker put Djokovic back on course.

Federer lost in the fourth round in NY, while Nadal retired from his semifinal against del Potro because of a bad right knee.

However, the despair on Sunday belonged to a teary del Potro, who was back in a grand slam final for the first time since his one and only title in NY in 2009.

"I think most of all, the respect they had for other player, they never went over the line and that's something truly awesome tonight", Djokovic said at the presentation ceremony.

After an overhead smash on match point, Djokovic dropped to his back in elation before embracing del Potro at midcourt.

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.

"I was so happy to be playing the final against this magnificent idol", said Del Potro of his close friend Djokovic. "I really wish him all the best and I know he's going to stand here again with the champions trophy". 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.

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The Serb has saved 72 per cent of break points against him during the tournament, while getting 82 per cent of his returns in, more than any other competitor at Flushing Meadows this year.

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

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.

"I was playing nearly at my limit all the time, looking for winners with my forehands, backhands, and I couldn't make them because Novak was there every time", Del Potro said. That prompted to chair umpire Alison Hughes to chastise them.

Djokovic went on to congratulate Del Potro for his achievements despite all the injury trouble and made a massively sporting gesture by saying he knew Del Potro will stand as champion at this podium one day.

What time is the Novak Djokovic vs Juan Martin del Potro US Open 2018 match?

"Difficult times, but you learn through adversity", Djokovic said.

Djokovic kept up the pressure with an early break in the second before Del Potro broke back to end the Serb's run of 23 consecutive holds. "I try to take the best out of myself in those moments".

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