Published: Tue, September 11, 2018
Sport | By Stuart Potter

Novak Djokovic defends Serena Williams, admits chair umpire 'changed' the game

Novak Djokovic defends Serena Williams, admits chair umpire 'changed' the game

Novak Djokovic kisses the trophy after defeating Juan Martin del Potro in the U.S. Open final for his second Grand Slam title this year.

Del Potro was playing in his first Grand Slam final since lifting the US Open title in 2009 at the age of 20, where he registered back-to-back wins against Nadal and Federer.

Djokovic faced similar questions about whether he'd ever get back to another major final with his elbow woes, but after his triumph at Wimbledon in July, and with the more heralded - and older - Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer showing signs of slowing down, another reign of the Djoker looks very real in men's tennis.

His extended time away from the game may have denied the 29-year-old del Potro a chance to elbow his way in among the game's "Big Four" of Nadal, Federer, Djokovic, and Andy Murray. He was my childhood idol.

It was a magnificent night of tennis from both players, where Djokovic's athleticism, court coverage and tennis brains came out triumphant against Del Potro's big serve and forehand.

And, at the age of 31, Djokovic appears to have the time - and crucially, the fitness levels - to push much higher up the list before his career concludes.

Since bursting out of the slump with an unexpected Wimbledon title he has gone from strength to strength, adding a long-awaited Cincinnati Masters title to his resume before adding the US Open title to those he won in 2011 and 2015.

France vs Germany on opening night of Nations League
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"I grew up playing and thinking that one day I'll be able to do what he does", the former world number one said.

Some two hours after the match, del Potro walked out to the players garden to a greeting from his group of about a dozen friends who have led the cheers from his box, supporters from back home he has credited with keeping his spirits up during the depressing days when he was injured.

After taking just two points off Del Potro's first three service games, Djokovic, in his 23rd final at the majors, pounced to break for 5-3.

'Maybe 10 years ago I would say I'm not so happy to be part of this era with Nadal and Federer. "I feel like I'm on a whole new level". But well done guys, the atmosphere from all of them was incredible, the support they gave to both Juan Martin and me. "I think that's why people love him".

This follows Anderson's loss to Austria's Dominic Thiem in the fourth round of the US Open last week. "Novak has everything to make records in this sport", said the Argentine.

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.

"Oh, yeah, for me, absolutely", Whitaker said. He overcame a 95-minute set, the longest of the tournament, to beat Juan Martin del Potro 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-3.

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