Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro will meet for the first time in a Grand Slam final. Both men, former champions in Flushing Meadows, will seek to cap off a memorable fortnight on a high on Sunday.
Djokovic has had a great comeback year. Exceedingly great, in fact. The super Serb after returning from a devastating elbow injury, made a sensational title-winning run in Wimbledon – his first Grand Slam title in two years. He backed that up with the Cincinnati Masters title, beating Federer in the final to become the only player in history to win all nine ATP Masters 1000 titles – the Golden Career Masters, it’s called. His remarkable performances have seen him break back into the Top 10.
For a player, who couldn’t string together good results early in the year, Djokovic entered into Flushing Meadows as a favourite for the title, and he’s justified that so far. The Serb was only really troubled in the first and second rounds by Fucsovics and Tennys Sandgren, respectively where he dropped a set each. From there onwards, he ticked through to the final with sheer brilliance despite the unfavourable weather conditions.
Can he now cross the last hurdle and claim his first US Open title since 2015 and third overall by beating del Potro?
Del Potro is playing his best tennis ever. After his struggles with a wrist injury since 2010, a year after he claimed the US Open title, the Argentine is playing freely again. His performances in Flushing Meadows this fortnight has provoked adulations from all quarters.
Except a four-set triumph against John Isner in the quarterfinals, the 29-year-old hasn’t dropped a set. Against Nadal in the semis, he was up two sets to love before the Spaniard retired due to injury. Del Potro will now seek to claim a first Grand Slam title in 9 years. But Djokovic has always been a nemesis for the Argentinian.
Djokovic has beaten him 14 times in 18 encounters and in all four of their Grand Slam matches, and that’s an advantage for the Serb. But this year has produced a different Del Potro. The Argentine’s ruthless forehand has grown even more formidable. His powerful serve more effective and most importantly, his backhand is back in full working order.
However, with Djokovic’s return being the greatest in the game and his defense almost impenetrable, this promises to be one heck of a final.