Novak Djokovic Topples Del Potro To Win US Open Title - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic Topples Del Potro To Win US Open Title

The former world No.1 has triumphed at Flushing Meadows for the first time since 2015 after battling past a spirited Del Potro.

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Novak Djokovic has clinched his 14th grand slam title following a pulsating 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-3, win over Juan Martin del Potro in the final of the US Open.

The former world No.1 was in clinical fashion against a player who dropped just one set on route to Sunday’s showdown. Djokovic’s defensive play combined with a clear game plan was reminiscent of his best tennis.  Illustrated by the 32 winners he produced throughout the encounter. Continuing a stunning run on the tour that has seen him lose only one match since June.

“My success this summer is because of the support of the loved ones.” Djokovic said during the trophy ceremony. “When I had my surgery at my elbow at the beginning of the year I learned what Delpo was going through. That’s when you draw from the support of the loved ones and thrive on that support”

Heading into the match, Djokovic’s recent record against the Argentine has been flawless. Last year he defeated Del Potro in all three of their meetings to extend his overall head-to-head record to 14-4. Nevertheless, Del Potro’s thunderous forehand posed a danger as he was cheered on by his army of fans inside the Arthur Ashe stadium.

“It was great to play the final next to this idol, he’s one of my friends on tour, I’m happy for Novak, he deserves to win.” Del Potro said in tribute to his rival.
“He knows that he’s one of my friends on tour and one player I want to watch winning titles. Of course I’m sad because I lost, but I’m happy for Novak.”

After a close start between both players, Djokovic pounced in the eighth game of the match.     His game plan of patiently waiting for his opponent to buckle during some lengthy rallies proved successful. Trailing 15-40, Djokovic valiantly battled back by winning five consecutive points to break for a 5-3 lead. Triggering a cheer from his entourage. Gaining in momentum, the Serbian went on to clinch his first set point with the help of a perfectly placed 104 mph serve out wide that was unsuccessfully returned. Before seizing the 6-3 lead at the expense of a Del Potro forehand slamming into the net.

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The opener was a precursor to an electrifying 95-minute second set that delighted the New York crowd. Initially Djokovic looked destined to race towards the finish line after breaking for a 6-3, 3-1, lead. However, a fiery Del Potro powered his way back into the match with a three-game winning streak. To add to the drama, Djokovic was then forced to save a trio of break points during a marathon 20-minute service game to draw level at 4-4. During what was one of the most dramatic sets of the entire tournament, it was ironically Del Potro’s trusted forehand that was his undoing. Djokovic’s relentless defensive play drew three consecutive errors from his rival as he eventually seal the tiebreaker in his favour.

Closing in on his first US Open title since 2015, the roller coaster continued as both players exchanged breaks during the third frame. Nevertheless, Djokovic manoeuvred himself to a game away from victory after breaking once more for a 5-3 lead. Serving for the championships, he claimed glory with a smash at the net. Resulting in him collapsing onto the ground in jubilation.

Djokovic, who missed six months of the tour last year due to an elbow injury, has become the third most decorated grand slam champion in the history of men’s tennis. With 14 major titles to his name, he ties with his idol Pete Sampras.

“I was hoping he was going to be here (at the US Open) tonight. Pete, I love you, you’re my idol.” He said in a tribute to the 47-year-old. “I hope to see you on court.”

The newly crowned New York champion continued with his tributes by praising Del Potro’s comeback to the tour. The 2009 champion has been hindered by wrist issues throughout his career and underwent four surgeries. At one point he contemplated retiring from the sport.

“I want to congratulate Juan Martin for what he has done through these years through all his problems, I know he’s going to be back here with the championship trophy.”  Djokovic concluded.

Djkovic has become only the eighth man in the Open Era to win both Wimbledon and the US Open titles within the same season.

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Kei Nishikori battles past Nikoloz Basilashvili to advance to the semifinals in Metz

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This year’s US Open semifinalist and Monte-Carlo finalist Kei Nishikori edged past fifth seed and this year’s Hamburg champion Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-3 4-6 6-4 after 2 hours and seven minutes in the quarter final at the Moselle Open in Metz. Nishikori rallied from 1-3 down in the third set by winning five of the next six games to secure his spot in the semifinal.

Nishikori won 83 % of his first service points and converted five of his eight break points to book his spot in the quarter finals where he will face either German Matthias Bashinger or Yannick Maden.

Nishikori broke serve in the third game with a backhand down the line winner. He dropped two points in four service games. He went up a double break in the ninth game, when Basilashvili sent a backhand long.

Nishikori went up a break in the second game of the second set with a return winner. Basilashvili pulled the break back in the second game of the second set. Basilashvili got another break, when Nishikori made a double fault. The Georgian player fired an ace to wrap up the second set 6-4 setting up a deciding set.

The Georgian player broke Nishikori in the third game of the decisive set and held serve with an ace to take a 3-1 lead. Nishikori broke back in the sixth gme with a smash winner and in the 10th game to wrap up the match.

“It was a tough match today, but I fought through and I am happy to be in the semifinals tomorrow. He was playing better in the second set. I thought I played almost perfect game in the first set and I almost had it, but he came back. It was tough. He was up 3-1 in the third, and I had to refocus and rebuild my confidence and play a little bit better in the end. It wasn’t an easy game”,said Nishikori.

Twice Metz champion Gilles Simon beat his compatriot Richard Gasquet 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 in one hour and 34 minutes.

Radu Albot edged Ricardas Berankis 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 in one hour and 42 minutes.

 

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Stan Wawrinka beats Damir Dzumhur in St. Petersburg to advance to his first semifinal since February

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World Number 88 Stan Wawrinka has advanced to his first semifinal since Sofia in February with a 6-2 6-4 win over Damir Dzumhur in one hour and 12 minutes.

Wawrinka dropped just 12 points in 10 service games and saved three of the four break points he faced. Stan the Man converted three of the eight break points.

Dzumhur, who beat Wawrinka in their only head-to-head match in Dubai last year, went up an early break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead, when Wawrinka sent a forehand long.

Wawrinka broke back in the next game with a forehand down the line. He earned his second consecutive break in the sixth game with a volley. The Lausanne player hit three winners to clinch the opening set 6-2 in 32 minutes.

Wawrinka converted his third break point at deuce in the third game to clinch the second set 6-4. Dzumhur earned two break points in the next game, but he failed to convert them. The Bosnian player fended off a match point at 3-5 with a volley winner, but Wawrinka closed out the match with a service winner in the next game.

Wawrinka set up a match against Martin Klizan, who came back from one set and 3-5 down to beat Canadian Next Gen star Denis Shapovalov 3-6 7-5 6-3.

Shapovalov won the first set 6-4 with his only break in the sixth game. The young Canadian went up a set and a break in the third game of the second set to take a 2-1 lead. Klizan broke back in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5 and sealed the second set 7-5 with another break in the 12th game. Klizan sealed the match with his only break at deuce on his second opportunity.

Klizan won all his the six finals he played in his career and will be bidding to win his seventh title against Wawrinka.

Dominic Thiem battled past Danil Medvedev 6-2 3-6 7-6 (7-2). Thiem got an immediate break in the first game. Medvedev saved three break points to hold his serve in the fifth game. Thiem saved a break point before breaking for the second time in the seventh game to close out the first set 6-2. Medvedev saved four break points (three in the first game and one in the third game) to win the second set. The third set went on serve in the first five games before a trade of breaks in the sixth and seventh games. The third set was decided by the tie-break where Thiem cruised through to a 7-2 win.

Thiem will face Roberto Bautista Agut, who beat this year’s Roland Garros semifinalist Marco Cecchinato 7-6 (7-0) 6-3. Bautista Agut saved the only two break point of the first set, which went on serve until the tie-break. Bautista Agut won the breaker by a bagel. Cecchinato saved four break points to hold his serve at deuce in the second game but dropped his serve at love in the fourth game to trail 1-3. Cecchinato saved a break point at deuce in the sixth game to hold his serve for 2-4. Bautista Agut won his final two service games to close out the match.

 

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Ricardas Berankis rallies from one set down to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in Metz

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Ricardas Berankis came back from one set down to upset second seed and this year’s Barcelona finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 after two hours and 36 minutes reaching his first quarter final since Moscow in 2017. Tsitsipas hit 17 aces but he dropped his serve three times from the 13 break points he faced. Berankis saved six of the seven break points.

Both players saved all five break points they faced in the first set, which came down to the tie-break. Tsitispas hit two service winners to cruise through to a 5-0 lead in the tie-break, but Berankis reeled off five of the next six games to claw his was back to 5-6. The Greek Next Gen player converted his fourth set point at 6-5 when Berankis netted a forehand.

Tsitsipas fended off three break points in the second game of the second set. Both players held their service games with no breaks setting up a second tie-break. Tsitsipas raced out to a 5-1 lead in the tie-break. Berankis reeled four consecutive points to draw level to 5-5. Tsitsipas earned a match point at 6-5, but Berankis won three consecutive points to take the tie-break 8-6 forcing the match to the third set.

Berankis went up a double break to race out to a 3-0 lead. Tsitsipas saved three break points  in the fifth game to hold his serve at deuce before pulling one break back with a forehand winner to claw his way back to 2-4.

Berankis saved three break points to hold his serve at deuce in the eighth game before converting his second break point in the ninth game to win the decider 6-3.

 

 

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