Del Potro says Djokovic can be greatest of all time

Del Potro says Djokovic can be greatest of all time

"I was playing nearly at the limit all the time, looking for winners with my forehands, backhands, and I couldn't make it because Novak were there every time". It was all positives.

"I just feel like - as Serena said yesterday - in the closing ceremonies, Osaka deserves to have her moment".

Britain's Alison Hughes, the second woman to umpire a U.S. Open men's singles final, kept a low profile as the two former champions went to work. "I guess we'll be hiking some more very soon". Djokovic is now tied with Sampras on number three in the list of players winning most number of grand slam titles in men's singles titles. Later on, when an upset del Potro sat on his bench awaiting the award ceremony, Djokovic went over to hug him and have a word.

The Serb admitted it was special, adding: 'Pete Sampras is one of the biggest legends ever to play the game.

"He was my childhood idol".

"The first thing I saw related to tennis on the TV was his first or second Wimbledon championship".

Djokovic will now set his sights on conquering a different summit by reclaiming his place atop the world tennis rankings for the first time since October 2016.

Djokovic has won 13 of his 14 Grand Slam titles since 2010, when the prize money for the champion moved past the £1m mark at all four majors.

"It's truly incredible when you think about it".

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"When the roof is closed, trust me, it's very, very loud down there. To actually be here, it's a dream come true".

Djokovic was better than del Potro on their many lengthy exchanges, using his trademark body-twisting, limb-splaying court coverage to get to almost every ball, sneakers squeaking around the blue court in Arthur Ashe Stadium, where the roof was closed because of rain.

It was also the third time the 31-year-old Serb - who missed last year's tournament with an elbow injury which sent his career into a mini-crisis - completed the Wimbledon-US Open double.

He had three more chances in the eighth, all saved by Djokovic in a marathon 20-minute game which left even Hollywood superstar Meryl Streep clasping her head in astonishment.

However, the underdog dialled up his intensity to great effect - that massive forehand clicking into gear - and was aided by significant crowd support as he capitalized on a brief dip in Djokovic's form to get back on level terms.

It appeared it could be easier when Djokovic broke del Potro in the second game of the set and led 3-1. He was drained from 3 hours, 16 minutes trying to find weaknesses in perhaps the best defender in tennis, especially after losing the 22-point, 20-plus minute game in the second set that was the match's pivotal moment.

He picked up the pace with straight-sets victories over France's Richard Gasquet, Portugal's Joao Sousa, Millman and 2014 finalist Kei Nishikori to arrive at a title tilt with good friend Del Potro.

He said: "I was crying until now".

At the start of 2017, Djokovic was riding high at World No.2, but Nadal was down at No.9 and Federer way back at 16th.

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