For Novak Djokovic, a season that got off to a gloomy start is heading for a brilliant finish after he dismissed Juan Martin Del Potro 6-3 7-6 (4) 6-3 to win the U.S. Open on Sunday and earn back-to-back Grand Slam titles.
ESPN drew the joint second-highest TV audience they have ever had for the US Open for her final loss to Naomi Osaka, tied with the final between Djokovic and Roger Federer in 2015. After the third round, he did not lose a single set as he was able to outlast a fan favorite in Del Potro. That Williams lost a point, then a game, and was fined $17,000 are what will be remembered about that final.
Del Potro's forehand is among the most intimidating weapons in the sport, but it misfired under relentless pressure towards the end of the first set, Djokovic breaking in the eighth game - at the end of a 22-shot rally - and taking the opener.
When it ended, thanks to a three-game closing run by Djokovic, he flung his racket away and landed on his back, arms and legs spread wide.
Argentine third seed Del Potro had been seeking first Grand Slam title since 2009.
"If you told me in February this year when I got the surgery that I'll win Wimbledon, US Open, and Cincinnati, it would be hard to believe", said Djokovic, referring to August's Cincinnati Masters that completed his Masters collection.
"I'm very sad for being a loser today but Novak deserved to take the trophy", said Del Potro, who wept into his hands before being comforted by Djokovic.
@djokernole defeats Del Potro 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 to win his 3rd title in Flushing Meadows!
But seemingly temporarily distracted by del Potro's supporters getting louder, not to mention the world No. 3's better play, he was broken back for 3-3.
Djokovic declared Ramos "shouldn't have pushed Serena to the limit" when asked about Williams in his press conference.
Just like last night's women's singles final, the match was played under closed roof with rain in NY.
Federer lost in the fourth round in NY, while Nadal retired from his semifinal against del Potro because of a bad right knee.
When Djokovic is in peak health, as he finally is following a long bout with a right elbow injury that eventually required surgery after this year's Australian Open, he is most definitely a man on a mission. Del Potro would not rue how many of those could have been his had he been injury-free all those years. Angelique Kerber went from No. 4 to No. 3.
But in that critical eight deuce game, the three break chances evaporated.
The tiebreaker was resolved thanks to more del Potro miscues on his forehand side, as he looked more and more tired.
"You learn when you're down, when you have doubtful moments, when things are not working out as you want them to". "But I'm happy for Novak and his team".