10 September, 2018
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. On the day of the final, Djokovic just showed why he was the holder of 13 Grand Slam titles.
Djokovic and Del Potro walked on 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.
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. Djokovic also leads Del Potro 14-4 in their head-to-head encounters.
It is Djokovic's thid U.S. Open title and first since 2015.
Amid increasing noise between points and serves, which prompted frequent interventions from chair umpire Alison Hughes, the previously assured Djokovic - who missed the tournament past year due to an elbow injury - appeared agitated.
While Djokovic's athleticism graced the Arthur Ashe Stadium, Del Potro was buoyed by the "Delpo, Delpo" chants of his friends who have reverberated the stadium throughout the tournament.
"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.
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"I was hoping he's going to be here tonight but I want to say 'Pete, I love you, you're my idol, '" said the Serb.
An eight-time finalist in NY who had only previously lifted the trophy in 2011 and 2015, the Serbian was made to work hard on Sunday as Del Potro came from a break down in the second and third sets.
In a tight opening set, there was only a single break point and Djokovic made it count to go up 5-3 before serving it out.
When another forehand error cost Del Potro his serve early in the second, all the momentum was with Djokovic.
"You can lose or win a trophy, but the love from the crowd, it could be even bigger than the tournament", del Potro said.
"You learn from adversity. when you have doubtful moments when things are not working out as you want (them) to".
It all bothered Djokovic, who started yelling and gesturing toward the seats.