NEW YORK, Sept 10, 2018 (News Wires) - Novak Djokovic clinched his third US Open title with a 6-3, 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 triumph over Juan Martin del Potro, taking him level with Pete Sampras's mark of 14 Grand Slams.
Djokovic, playing in his eighth final in New York and already the champion in 2011 and 2015, is now just three Slams behind Rafael Nadal and six back from the all-time record 20 held by Roger Federer.
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.
“I want to say Pete, I love you, you're my idol,” said Djokovic of Sampras.
“To the support of the loved ones, my kids, my wife, my small team of people that has been there with me through difficult times as well,” added the Serb who underwent elbow surgery after the Australian Open in January.
NEW YORK, Sept 8, 2018 (News Wires) - Novak Djokovic will face Juan Martin del Potro for the US Open title after the Serb beat Kei Nishikori 6-3 6-4 6-2 in their semi-final.
Djokovic, this year's Wimbledon champion, kept Nishikori under relentless pressure, carving out 17 break point opportunities and winning 80 per cent of his own first serve points to win in two hours and 23 minutes.
Twice champion Djokovic, who reached his eighth final at Flushing Meadows and is seeded sixth this year, broke Nishikori in his first service game and closed out the opening set with an ace in 37 minutes without facing a break point.
“It felt really good,” Djokovic said courtside. “Easier said than done — you have to execute the shots against Kei Nishikori, who is one of the quicker movers on the tour.”
NEW YORK, Sept 7, 2018 (News Wires) - Defending US Open champion Rafael Nadal and twice winner Novak Djokovic are one victory away from renewing their rivalry in the final with both expected to get through their semis Friday.
World number one Nadal faces big-serving Argentine third seed Juan Martin del Potro while sixth seed Novak Djokovic meets Japanese 21st seed Kei Nishikori bidding to secure a seventh trip to the showcase match at Flushing Meadows.
Nadal, who survived a gruelling late-night battle with Austrian Dominic Thiem in punishing humidity to reach the last four, has a commanding 11-5 career record against Del Potro with his last loss coming in the semis at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The Spaniard, who beat Del Potro this year in the French Open semi-finals and Wimbledon quarter-finals, has looked nothing short of brilliant but is not about to get ahead of himself as the pair have split their 10 meetings on hard courts.
“He (Del Potro) is a great player everywhere. But the challenge of playing him on hard (courts) of course is even higher for me personally than playing against him on clay,” said Nadal, who has three US Opens among his 17 Grand Slam titles.
“It will be a big challenge. It’s a match in which we know each other very well. I know he’s playing well. I know I’ll have to play at my highest level to keep having chances of success.”
Del Potro will rely heavily on his service having won 83 per cent of his first service points through five matches here, well above anyone else remaining in the men’s draw.
In Friday’s other semi-final, Djokovic will try to extend the form that has seen him win 24 of his last 26 matches, an impressive run that includes titles at Wimbledon and the US Open tune-up event in Cincinnati.
CINCINNATI, August 18, 2018 (News Wires) - World number one Simona Halep pulled double duty at the weather-hit Cincinnati Masters in Ohio, beating Ashleigh Barty then Lesia Tsurenko to claim a place in the semi-finals.
Novak Djokovic also won his second match of the day to set up a semi-final clash with Marin Cilic. Roger Federer edged past Swiss tennis player Stanislas Wawrinka to enter the semi-final of the ongoing Cincinnati Open on Saturday.
Djokovic, a five-time finalist here who has never broken through, is aiming to lift the trophy at the only one of the Masters 1000 series events that he has never won.
The Serb tenth seed followed up a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 third-round defeat of holder Grigor Dimitrov earlier in the day of a rainy week by beating Milos Raonic 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.It was the ninth win without a loss for Djokovic in the series with the Canadian.
"I've played five finals here," Djokovic said. "But I do wish to win the title. I'm here to enjoy a sport that I love, I've got plenty of motivation. I'm in a good position, so I'll take it step by step."
Djokovic had to come from behind in the first and third sets, and helped seal the victory with a break for 5-3 in the third.
"Milos is one of the best servers in the game," Djokovic said. "Just a few points decided the winner.
"It's tough to play against someone serving so big."Cilic put out Spanish 13th seed Pablo Carreno Busta 7-6 (9/7), 6-4.
"I haven't played any matches on the centre court. I feel and I heard that it's completely different. It's much faster," Cilic said.
"Definitely Novak is playing really well. His level was definitely high and he's in definitely really good form.
"We played tough match in Queen's, but that's grass and definitely different. So I have to get ready and give it a full shot."
The 37-year-old Federer thrashed Wawrinka 6-7(2), 7-6(6), 6-2 to continue with his impressive record against the fellow countryman.
Reflecting on the loss, Wawrinka said that he is happy to play a high-level tennis and further asserted that he needs to keep improving his game.
“For sure it was a great level. I think I’m playing great in general. I’m playing better every day, every week. Last week was really important and really good for myself, for my tennis, for my confidence.. I’m happy to see where I am right now. I had a tough match last week against Rafa. Close match, also.
Today was against Roger. They are No. 1 and No. 2 in the world. I beat Schwartzman, I beat Nishikori, so the level is good,” ATP website quoted Wawrinka, as saying.
“I need to keep improving, keep working, keep doing the right thing and keep pushing myself. For sure tonight I’m sad and disappointed to lose, but for me it’s a big victory for myself after what I had last year. It was exactly one year ago.
To see where I was also few weeks ago, I’m really happy to be here,” he added.
In other matches of the day, former world number one Novak Djokovic defeated Milos Raonic of Canada 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 to book a spot in the semi-final of the tournament.
After beating Australian Barty 7-5 6-4 earlier in the day, Women's top seed Halep took her winning streak to eight matches with a 6-4 6-1 win over Tsurenko, who had triple break point to take a 5-1 lead in the first set but could not capitalise and saw the match
swing away from her.
The top seed was unstoppable once she found her rhythm and confidence, winning 11 of the final 12 games to continue her winning streak stretching back to last week's Rogers Cup.
"It was a tough day," said the Romanian. "I'm really tired but I'm happy that I could win both.
"After I won Montreal, I said that I want to come here to win some more matches, because after winning a title is always the feeling that 'let's do more.'"
Her semi-final opponent Sabalenka had staved off match points in her two previous matches and managed to do it again on Friday, using her big serve to wriggle out of trouble against 13th seeded Keys.
Eighth seed Kvitova recovered from going down an early break in the third set to beat Belgian Elise Mertens 7-5 5-7 6-3.
"Luckily I (had) good second serves, which was very important for me to put it back to the court and play some rallies," said the Czech.
"I really need to play more aggressive. That's how I made those important points."Bertens trailed 4-1 in the opening set against Ukrainian fifth seed Elina Svitolina but it was one-way traffic once the Dutch player's serve clicked into gear and she closed out the
match 6-4 6-3.
LONDON, July 16, 2018 (News Wires) - Novak Djokovic proved conclusively he remains one of the biggest beasts in men's tennis by outplaying South African giant Kevin Anderson to claim a fourth Wimbledon title.
The 31-year-old put two years of turmoil behind him to beat a battle-weary Anderson 6-2 6-2 7-6(3) on a sweltering Centre Court and add a 13th Grand Slam trophy to his bulging cabinet.
It was clear what it meant to the Serb as he ended a two-year Grand Slam title drought by getting his hands back on the trophy he also raised in 2011, 2014 and 2015.
"I had any moments of doubt and didn't know if I could compete," Djokovic said on court late Sunday. "It's my first Grand Slam final in a couple of years and this is the best place to come back. It's very, very special."
A first Wimbledon men's final in the professional era featuring to players aged 30 or over was no classic.
The last drops of Wimbledon drama had been used up in the two longest men's semi-finals ever played at the All England Club. But Djokovic did not care about that.
Having dropped to his lowest ranking since 2006 and without a title of any description this year -- the world number 21 entered Wimbledon in the unusual position of being an outsider.
But his game caught fire throughout a sun-drenched fortnight and against Rafael Nadal in an epic semi-final completed on Saturday he looked like the player who has spent 223 weeks of his brilliant career as world number one.
In truth he never had to scale those height against the 32-year-old Anderson who for two sets was clearly suffering the effects of having spent 21 hours on court just to reach his first Wimbledon final.
Anderson stunned Roger Federer in the quarter-finals, saving a match point to win in five sets, then beat John Isner 26-24 in the fifth set in a semi-final serve-a-thon which, at six hours 36 minutes, was the second longest tennis match of all time.
His elbow was hurting, his legs, which he described as like jelly after the Isner epic, would not move properly and his thinking was fuzzy as the errors flowed. Djokovic, who made only one unforced error in the first set, picked over the carcass with relish.
The ruthless Serb broke in the first game and twice more in a 29-minute first set and although Anderson offered more resistance in the second set the outcome was the same as Djokovic pulled the 6ft 8ins eighth seed from corner to corner.
The faint-hearted probably wanted Anderson to be put out of his misery. But he is made of sterner stuff.
Firing himself up after virtually every point he began to threaten an unlikely comeback in the third -- having two set points when Djokovic served at 4-5 and three at 5-6.
LONDON, July 14, 2018 (News Wires) - Novak Djokovic sent the strongest signal yet that he is back at full strength by reaching his fifth Wimbledon final with a 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (9), 3-6, 10-8 victory over rival Rafael Nadal on Saturday in a match suspended overnight.
Djokovic is bidding for a fourth championship at the All England Club and 13th Grand Slam title overall.
He'll face Kevin Anderson in Sunday's final. Anderson beat John Isner in a 6½-hour semifinal that ended at 26-24 fifth set Friday night, pushing back the start of Djokovic vs. Nadal.
The second semifinal then was halted when the third set ended just past 11 p.m., because of a neighborhood curfew. It had started with Centre Court's retractable roof closed and so concluded that way, too, even though there was no hint of rain.
Djokovic hasn't won a major in more than two years, dealing with an injured right elbow that was so painful in 2017 he quit his quarterfinal at Wimbledon and sat out the rest of the season.
He had surgery in February, but his results were still shaky. Until now, that is.
Undaunted by losing his lead and being forced to an extra set, Djokovic saved break points at 4-all and 7-all in the fifth, before breaking Nadal at love to end things.