2018 US Open Champion:  Novak Djokovic -06- (SRB)
Make no mistake, Arthur Ashe Stadium was pulling for Juan Martin Del Potro tonight. In a match continuously peppered with the chant “Ole…Ole Ole Ole…Delpo…Delpo” – once again, Novak Djokovic brilliantly played the villain in a Grand Slam championship match. A role he has perfected.
Del Potro’s Last Chance to win a Major?
Juan Martin Del Potro earned his only Slam title on this court 9-years-ago, upsetting Rafael Nadal in the Semi’s, then ending Roger Federer’s 41-match US Open win-streak in the Final. Since then, he’s endured 4 wrist surgeries, missed most of 2014 and 2015, and has spent the last 3-years steadily working his way back into the top-5. Now the World #3 — simply reaching tonight’s championship match was an emotional milestone.
And there was hope.
Novak Djokovic missed last year’s US Open due to elbow surgery. He didn’t play a single competitive match between Wimbledon and the Australian Open. His ranking plummeted to World #22. But by Wimbledon, the game’s most prolific returner was emphatically back.
He reached the Wimbledon Final with a 5th-set, 10-8 victory over Rafael Nadal – then captured his 13th Major in straight-sets over Kevin Anderson.
Over the Summer, he became the first player in history to complete the career Golden Masters. In Cincinnati, he won the title in straight-sets over 7-time champion Roger Federer.
Now on a 12-match win-streak, over the past 4-weeks Djokovic had played more competitive main-draw matches than any other player on Tour. Was this Delpo’s night? How could we forget Juan Martin’s tremendous win over Djokovic in the 1st-Round of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio?
Novak Djokovic – Always at his best when it matters most.
All the hope. All the hype. None of it mattered. This one quickly became another textbook Djokovic dissection of a wildly talented and beloved opponent.
Set-1 was tight. Both had 6-winners. The unforced error count: Delpo-11, Djokovic-9. It all came down to a single break point in game-8, where Novak dragged Delpo into another extended rally. Exhausted, Del Potro netted a simple forehand, which cost him the set.
The second-set started with another Djokovic break right before the first changeover. Juan Martin leveled-it, behind his trademark booming forehand – but Novak ran away in the tiebreak, winning 6 of the last 7-points.
Delpo managed one more break in the third — but from 3-all, Novak controlled the ball, insisting on punishing rallies. It was effective. 3-games later, Novak Djokovic captured his 3rd US Open title and 14th Major.
Novak Djokovic’s 8th US Open Final. 23rd Major Final.
Novak is now 14-9 in Grand Slam Finals. His first appearance in a Major championship match happened here 11-years-ago at the 2007 US Open. Though he fell to Roger Federer in 3-sets — since then, he has appeared in 8 US Open Finals; one more than Federer, who won five consecutive Flushing titles between 2004 and 2008.
Ask the fans? This is Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal’s house.
Ask statiticians, or any player in the locker room? Arthur Ashe Stadium is Novak Djokovic’s house.
2018 Novak Djokovic (SRB) def Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) | 63 76(4) 63
2016 Stan Wawrinka (SUI) def. Novak Djokovic (SRB) | 6-7(1), 6-4, 7-5, 6-3
2015 Novak Djokovic (SRB) def. Roger Federer (SUI) | 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4
2013 Rafael Nadal (ESP) def. Novak Djokovic (SRB) | 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
2012 Andy Murray (GBR) def. Novak Djokovic (SRB) | 7-6(10), 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2
2011 Novak Djokovic (SRB) def. Rafael Nadal (ESP)| 6-2, 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-1
2010 Rafael Nadal (ESP) def. Novak Djokovic (SRB) | 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2
2007 Roger Federer (SUI) def. Novak Djokovic (SRB) | 7-6(4), 7-6(2), 6-4
 Novak Djokovic -06- (SRB)
In 2007, he reached his first Grand Slam Final right here in Arthur Ashe Stadium. 11-years-later, he is a 13-time Major Champion; and this afternoon, is competing in the US Open Final for the 8th time. Earlier this Summer, he won his 4th Wimbledon title, and went on to make history in Cincinnati, defeating 7-time Champion Roger Federer in the championship match, becoming the first player ever to complete the career Golden Masters. He’s a Davis Cup Champion, has won the ATP World Tour Finals 5-times, owns 70 career Singles titles, and has held the World #1 ranking for a combined 223-weeks. One of only three men to hold all four Grand Slam titles at the same time – From Serbia – Please welcome 2011 and 2015 US Open Champion…Novak Djokovic.
2018 US Open Road to the Title:
FF: def  Juan Martin Del Potro -03- (ARG) 63 76(4) 63 | Arthur Ashe Stadium
SF: def  Kei Nishikori -19- (JPN) 63 64 62 | Arthur Ashe Stadium
QF: def John Millman -55- (AUS) 63 64 64 | Arthur Ashe Stadium
R4: def João Sousa -68- (POR) 63 64 63 | Arthur Ashe Stadium
R3: def  Richard Gasquet -25- (FRA) 62 63 63 | Arthur Ashe Stadium
R2: def Tennys Sandgren -61- (USA) 61 63 67(2) 62 | Arthur Ashe Stadium
R1: def Marton Fucsovics -41- (HUN) 63 36 64 60 | Arthur Ashe Stadium
 Juan Martin Del Potro -03- (ARG)
9-years-ago he captured his first Grand Slam title right here in Arthur Ashe Stadium, defeating Rafael Nadal in the Semi’s, then 5-time defending champion Roger Federer in a thrilling 5-set Final. He’s a Davis Cup Champion, an Olympic Bronze and Silver Medalist, and with victories this year at Indian Wells and Acapulco – now owns 22 ATP World Tour Singles titles. He’s reached 4 Finals this year alone – and comes into this year’s US Open with a career-high ranking of World #3. Competing in his 2nd US Open Final – From Argentina, please welcome 2009 US Open Champion…Juan Martin Del Potro.
2018 US Open Road to the Final:
SF: def  Rafael Nadal -01- (ESP) 76(3) 62 RET | Arthur Ashe Stadium
QF: def  John Isner -11- (USA) 67(5) 63 76(4) 62 | Arthur Ashe Stadium
R4: def  Borna Coric -20- (CRO) 64 63 61 | Arthur Ashe Stadium
R3: def  Fernando Verdasco -32- (ESP) 75 76(6) 63 | Arthur Ashe Stadium
R2: def Denis Kudla -72- (USA) 63 61 76(4) | Louis Armstrong Stadium
R1: def Donald Young -246- (USA) 60 63 64 | Louis Armstrong Stadium