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Djokovic rejoins 'Big 3'; Osaka jumps to No. 7

12 Septembre 2018

"We reached the top after three hours", Djokovic recalled after landing the US Open title by beating Juan Martin Del Potro on Sunday.

It was Djokovic's 15th win over the Argentine and fifth in five at the Slams.

That left Djokovic, who missed the U.S. Open a year ago because of a right elbow injury, as the last man standing to defend the "Big Four's" title streak against a man who had broken it once before. Three unforced errors resulted on that side, with Djokovic forcing an error on the final point as he overturned a 3-1 deficit.

Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro have begun their U.S. Open matchup between a pair of past champions. After the third round, he did not lose a single set as he was able to outlast a fan favorite in Del Potro. The 23-time Grand Slam victor continues to climb back following a 13-month maternity absence during which her WTA ranking plummeted to 491. Depending on how she trains herself in the years ahead, it might not be a mere fantasy for her to continue standing as the top tennis player in the world.

Three operations to his left wrist mean del Potro's once potent backhand has been downgraded to mostly a slice, although there were encouraging signs at the US Open.

The winners of the Grand Slam women's singles titles this year were all different players. "I was just trying to focus on myself at that time".

Angelique Kerber went from No. 4 to No. 3. From there Djokovic comfortably served out the set. Not against Djokovic, who always seemed to have all the answers - and who said he convinced himself that all of those "Oles" were actually people calling out his own nickname, "Nole".

A series of missed forehands by del Potro in the tiebreaker put Djokovic back on course and he finished with a flourish, taking the last three games - sealing the title on his first match point.

As a snapshot of Sunday night's match, the eighth game of the second set served quite well.

While the 6-6 del Potro relied on his long strides, the 6-2 Djokovic over and over demonstrated a sort of gymnastic telepathy - all agility and anticipation.

Hard to pin back and aggressive from the baseline when presented his chances, Djokovic broke for 5-3 and served the opener out easily.

He was in tears afterward, with both Djokovic and John McEnroe coming over to give him a consoling pat on the shoulder as he sat on his chair waiting for the trophy presentation.

In the middle of that there was some world class tennis on display. Twice, the Serb tried to attack at the net. But even the straight-sets win had its moments, moments of vintage Djokovic: an on-the-line victor, an overhead smash, a passing shot, a backhand cracker.

Serena Williams points the finger at umpire Carlos Ramos.

While Streep was beside herself, Jerry Seinfeld had more of a skeptical look.

"The worst part to me is the chances that I couldn't make but then when you see a friend holding the trophy, it's good, too".

After an overhead smash on match point, Djokovic dropped to his back in elation before embracing del Potro at midcourt.

However, despite his achievements, Djokovic appears doomed never to be held in the same esteem as Federer and Nadal, the "people's champions".

At Wimbledon in 2007, he retired with a back injury in the third set of his semifinal against Nadal.

Djokovic rejoins 'Big 3'; Osaka jumps to No. 7