Left Menu
Development News Edition

US Open champion Djokovic: 'I owe Federer, Nadal'


US Open champion Djokovic: 'I owe Federer, Nadal'
Image Credit: Twitter

New York, Sep 10 (AFP) Novak Djokovic was thrilled to match Pete Sampras with a 14th Grand Slam title at the US Open on Sunday, but he said it's Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal who have made him the player he is.

"Pete Sampras is one of the biggest legends ever to play the game," Djokovic said after earning a third US Open crown with a 6-3, 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 victory over Juan Martin del Potro.

"He was my childhood idol. He was someone I was looking up to. The first actual thing I saw related to tennis on the TV was his first or second Wimbledon championship. That inspired me to start playing tennis.

"There is a lot of significance of me being now shoulder to shoulder in terms of Grand Slam wins with him." The victory puts Djokovic three Slam wins away from Nadal's 17 and six behind Federer's record 20.

It will also see him rise to number three in the world behind Nadal and Federer -- the rankings again reflecting the "Big Three" status they have shared for so long.

Djokovic had tumbled down the rankings, slowed last year by an elbow injury and a loss of confidence that accompanied a 54-week title drought.

Since bursting out of the slump with an unexpected Wimbledon title he has gone from strength to strength, adding a long-awaited Cincinnati Masters title to his resume before adding the US Open title to those he won in 2011 and 2015.

Djokovic faced neither of his greatest rivals en route to the title in Flushing Meadows.

Seeded to face Federer in the quarter-finals, he found himself instead across the net from John Millman after the unheralded Australian stunned the Swiss great.

Nadal hobbled out of a semi-final match against Del Potro after two sets.

Djokovic would have relished taking on either -- or both, although he admits that early in his career that wasn't always the case.

"Maybe 10 years ago I would say I'm not so happy to be part of this era with Nadal and Federer," he said.

"Today I really am. I feel like these guys, rivalries with these guys, matches with Federer and Nadal, have made me the player I am, have shaped me into the player I am today.

"I owe it to them."

Although he was riding high coming into the Open, Djokovic was among the many struggling with crushing heat and humidity in the first week.

He needed four sets to get past 41st-ranked Hungarian Marton Fucsovics in the first round and another to get past 61st-ranked American Tennys Sandgren in the second.

- 'Ole Nole' -

==============

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.

After seizing an early break in the second set, Djokovic suddenly found himself on the run, dropping three straight games before he dug in to salvage a service hold in a 20-minute marathon game that went to deuce eight times.

The crowd was roaring for sentimental favorite Del Potro -- shut out of Grand Slam finals since his 2009 US Open triumph.

Djokovic said it was the kind of heavyweight clash he's learned to embrace.

"This might sound funny, but my nickname is Nole. When they shout "Ole, ole, ole, ole," that's what I hear," he said of the raucous chants for Del Potro.

"I thought it was electrifying in some stages of the match, especially in the second set when we went toe-to-toe. I had my corner, as well.

"When the roof is closed, trust me, it's very, very loud down there. It takes a lot of effort to actually stay poised in this moment.

"I'm glad I managed to do that."

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


TRENDING

OPINION/BLOG/INTERVIEW

Sentiment Analysis of Twitter users during COP 25: Governments losing trust on Climate Action

Sentiment analysis of Twitter users during COP25 in Madrid, being held from December 2-13, shows widespread fear on climate change due to global warming but almost no trust on governments in meeting the emission targets. In the analysis the...

These innovators are making humanitarian response more efficient

These alarming trends prompt a call for the world to not only address the ongoing crisis but also to adopt innovative approaches to fulfill the growing humanitarian needs in such emergencies. ...

Hyderabad Encounter: A sentiment analysis of public mood on day of encounter

Sentiment analysis of twitter users revealed that they showered salutes on Hyderabad police for eliminating alleged gang rapists of the veterinary doctor but only a few believe in cops version of successive events leading to encounter....

Hyderabad Encounter: Time to review modern judiciary and restore people’s confidence

Its probably for the first time in the history of independent India, the parliamentarians, chief ministers and ministers in the Union and State governments are openly supporting an encounter. This indicates the people from top to bottom hav...

Videos

Latest News

INSTANT VIEW-British PM Johnson heads for big Brexit election win

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is on course to win Thursdays election comfortably, giving him the numbers in parliament needed to pass his Brexit divorce deal next month, according to an exit poll on Thursday. Below is early reactionB...

EXPLAINER-Reality check for Johnson's Brexit: it's just the beginning

Prime Minister Boris Johnson appears set for a sweeping election victory on a promise to Get Brexit done, but there is a reality check waiting for jaded voters who are feeling relieved that the messy divorce seems to be finally over.Its jus...

EXPLAINER-Reality check for Johnson's Brexit: it's just the beginning

Prime Minister Boris Johnson appears set for a sweeping election victory on a promise to Get Brexit done, but there is a reality check waiting for jaded voters who are feeling relieved that the messy divorce seems to be finally over.Its jus...

US calls on China not to interfere in Taiwan election

The United States on Thursday urged China not to interfere in elections next month in Taiwan, where President Tsai Ing-wen, a critic of Beijing, is seeking a new term. David Stilwell, the top US diplomat for Asia, said that tensions have hi...

Give Feedback