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Novak Djokovic beats Juan Martin del Potro 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-4 to win the 2018 US Open - as it happened

Hannah Wilks in ATP Tour 10 Sep 2018

Novak Djokovic ties Pete Sampras's haul of 14 Grand Slam titles as he claims a third US Open title, defeating Juan Martin del Potro 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-4.


*denotes next player to serve

Key events
21:27 09 Sep

Stream Djokovic vs del Potro live from New York

00:57 10 Sep

Novak Djokovic is the 2018 US Open men's champion!

00:54 10 Sep

'It felt a little bit like a football match.'

00:51 10 Sep

'To be here again.'

00:50 10 Sep

'This magnificent idol'

00:39 10 Sep

Djokovic is the 2018 US Open men's singles champion

00:34 10 Sep

Novak Djokovic beats Juan Martin del Potro 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-3

00:32 10 Sep

Djokovic* 6-3, 7-6(4), 5-3 del Potro - Djokovic breaks & will serve for the title

00:23 10 Sep

Djokovic 6-3, 7-6(4), 4-3 del Potro*

00:20 10 Sep

Djokovic* 6-3, 7-6(4), 3-3 del Potro

00:09 10 Sep

Djokovic 6-3, 7-6(4), 3-2 del Potro* - del Potro breaks back

00:01 10 Sep

Djokovic* 6-3, 7-6(4), 3-1 del Potro - Djokovic breaks

23:55 09 Sep

Djokovic 6-3, 7-6(4), 2-1 del Potro*

23:52 09 Sep

Djokovic* 6-3, 7-6(4), 1-1 del Potro

23:47 09 Sep

Djokovic 6-3, 7-6(4), 1-0 del Potro*

23:28 09 Sep

SET DJOKOVIC 6-3, 7-6(4)

23:27 09 Sep

Djokovic 6-3, 6-6 del Potro - second set goes to a tie-break

23:21 09 Sep

Djokovic* 6-3, 5-6 del Potro

23:18 09 Sep

Djokovic 6-3, 5-5 del Potro*

23:12 09 Sep

Djokovic* 6-3, 4-5 del Potro

22:49 09 Sep

Djokovic 6-3, 4-4 del Potro* - Djokovic saves 3 break points in 20-minute game

22:45 09 Sep

Djokovic* 6-3, 3-4 del Potro

22:39 09 Sep

Djokovic 6-3, 3-3 del Potro* - del Potro breaks back!

22:34 09 Sep

Djokovic* 6-3, 3-2 del Potro

22:29 09 Sep

Djokovic 6-3, 3-1 del Potro*

22:22 09 Sep

Djokovic* 6-3, 2-1 del Potro - Djokovic breaks

22:18 09 Sep

Djokovic 6-3, 1-1 del Potro*

22:11 09 Sep

Djokovic* 6-3, 0-1 del Potro - del Potro saves two break points

22:06 09 Sep

Stats from set 1

22:02 09 Sep

SET Djokovic 6-4

21:56 09 Sep

Djokovic* 5-3 del Potro - del Potro broken from 40-0 up

21:52 09 Sep

Djokovic 4-3 del Potro*

21:48 09 Sep

Djokovic* 3-3 del Potro

21:42 09 Sep

Djokovic 3-2 del Potro*

21:39 09 Sep

Djokovic* 2-2 del Potro

21:30 09 Sep

Djokovic 2-1 del Potro* - Djokovic holds from 0-30

21:29 09 Sep

Djokovic* 1-1 del Potro

21:22 09 Sep

Djokovic 1-0 del Potro*

21:19 09 Sep

Pour one out for del Potro

21:16 09 Sep

The head-to-head

21:12 09 Sep

Players taking the court!

21:02 09 Sep

Pre-match reading

20:57 09 Sep

History awaits

20:51 09 Sep

Absolutely incredible final

20:41 09 Sep

Sorry for the silence but ...

20:29 09 Sep

Welcome to the jungle

Live blog

21:27 09 Sep

Stream Djokovic vs del Potro live from New York

 Here's how you can watch Novak Djokovic vs Juan Martin del Potro in the US Open men's final live from New York.


2. Sign into your account or register for a new one

3. Select Live Streaming

4. Select 'Tennis’ from the ‘All Sports’ dropdown menu

5. Click on Djokovic vs del Potro and enjoy the match!
00:57 10 Sep

Novak Djokovic is the 2018 US Open men's champion!

He receives his trophy from John McEnroe and lifts it to a huge ovation.

It's been an incredibly dramatic fortnight, and not always in a pleasant way - but at least it ends on something we can all agree on, and that's the undisputed return of Novak Djokovic to the champions' circle and as a force at the top of men's tennis. 

He has a real chance to overtake Rafael Nadal for the world no. 1 ranking by the end of the year, and then what to come in 2019 ...?

Interesting times lie ahead. Idemo Novak!
00:54 10 Sep

'It felt a little bit like a football match.'

Asked what he attributes his successful summer to, Djokovic smiles: 'To the support of the loved ones.'

'When I had my surgery this year, I literally understand what Juan Martin was going through with his surgeries for two, three years away from the tour ...'

The interviewer mentions tying Sampras's record of 14 Grand Slams.

'I was hoping he was going to be here tonight - Pete, you're my idol, I love you!' 

Asked about the fans, Djokovic laughs. 'It felt like a football match a little bit with the Serbian fans here and the Argentine fans here!' 
00:51 10 Sep

'To be here again.'

'I was trying to fix all my injuries to be here again and I got it after nine years, which is amazing for me,' del Potro continues. 

He is then given the chance to speak in Spanish, which for those who remember the 2009 trophy ceremony, is a nice touch. 
00:50 10 Sep

'This magnificent idol'

'It's not easy to speak right now,' del Potro said. 'But I love you too, guys. 

'I'm so happy to be playing the final against this magnificent idol - he is one of my friends on tour and he knows that one of the players I want to see winning titles is him. 

'Of course I am sad for myself but I am happy for Novak.'
00:39 10 Sep

Djokovic is the 2018 US Open men's singles champion

Djokovic falls flat on his back on the court for a few minutes before getting up to hug del Potro. 

The Argentine is sobbing into his towel, but a delighted Djokovic climbs up to his box to be embraced by his entire team. 
00:34 10 Sep

Novak Djokovic beats Juan Martin del Potro 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-3

24 shots of brutal pace and precision it took for Djokovic to break, and the after-effects show as he goes down 0-15 under pressure from del Potro, but the Argentine can't take advantage of an opening on the next point as he blasts the backhand down the line wide for 15-15. 

Another lengthy rally ends with a tired error from del Potro, who's been thoroughly battered and broken by this - only for Djokovic to double-fault for 30-30.

Championship point as Djokovic finds one more big serve, one more impossibly precise forehand winner into the corner ... 

And he is the US Open champion for the third time as he works his way into net and finishes off the point and match with a smash! 
00:32 10 Sep

Djokovic* 6-3, 7-6(4), 5-3 del Potro - Djokovic breaks & will serve for the title

Struggling already at 15-30, del Potro throws in a double fault for 15-40 - he was distracted by a member of the crowd shouting out but there's nothing to be done about that now, and a break here would see Djokovic serving for the match ...

It's a lengthy, bone-grinding rally, both men going toe to toe, but once again Djokovic is impenetrable and eventually the error comes from del Potro as his backhand flies wide. 
00:23 10 Sep

Djokovic 6-3, 7-6(4), 4-3 del Potro*

Djokovic now opens his service game with a double fault as the match clock ticks over to three hours and one minute, before ending the run of points against him with a 15-shot rally closing with an overhead.

Del Potro takes a 15-30 lead as an improvised lob gets him on top of the point, but shanks a forehand sky- or at least roof-high in the midst of a pounding rally for 30-30, and another forehand error from del Potro gives up game point for the Serb, who promptly holds.
00:20 10 Sep

Djokovic* 6-3, 7-6(4), 3-3 del Potro

That really was a strange lapse on Djokovic's part to let del Potro back in to this set - and it still seems unimaginable that del Potro could feasibly win it, let alone the match. But stranger things have happened.

Djokovic hammers himself in the head with the heel of his hand as del Potro goes up 40-15 with an error from his opponent, and the Argentine holds with a service winner.
00:09 10 Sep

Djokovic 6-3, 7-6(4), 3-2 del Potro* - del Potro breaks back

Del Potro with a running forehand pass that Djokovic can afford to magnanimously applaud for 0-15, but Djokovic batters his way towards net to force an anaemic chip lob that drifts inevitably long for 15-15.

Del Potro strings together a sequence of 47 thunderous forehands before he can finally hit a winner for 15-30, but Djokovic levels before pushing himself ahead with an immense injection of pace on the forehand to open up the court for a delicate volley for 40-30.

Del Potro leans on the umpire's chair and complains about something, ending with a plaintive 'Please.' It's not clear what he wants ...

Two deuces and Djokovic is still trying to hold - and then he gives up break point with an error. At this point, it feels like del Potro breaking back would be delaying the inevitable. 

But that's exactly what has happened - Djokovic is given a time violation warning, then del Potro scrambles in to net and manages to improvise the ball past Djokovic to break back!
00:01 10 Sep

Djokovic* 6-3, 7-6(4), 3-1 del Potro - Djokovic breaks

Del Potro instantly in trouble on his serve for 0-15, and then in bigger trouble as Djokovic produces an absolutely brilliant forehand as del Potro attacks the net to force a volley error for 0-30. 

Del Potro narrowly scrapes out a point for 15-30, and finds a pacey second serve to set up a thunderous forehand for 30-30, but Djokovic prises open the court like a cadaver's ribcage - all set up by a viciously deep return - to work his way into the net for a volley for break point. 

A banger down the middle saves it for deuce - but a remarkable exchange sees Djokovic soaking up literally everything that del Potro's considerable forehand can crank down at him and replying with a backhand pass winner on to the outside of the line for a second break point! 

Del Potro is doubled over after losing that 22-shot rally and surely his mighty heart is breaking. 

Djokovic breaks as del Potro shades long.
23:55 09 Sep

Djokovic 6-3, 7-6(4), 2-1 del Potro*

Djokovic finds his first ace of the match for 15-0, and elicits a slice error from del Potro for 30-0 - but despite getting exactly the approach shot he was expecting as he attacks the net, he nets a volley for 30-15, and eventually holds to 30 with an overhead winner.
23:52 09 Sep

Djokovic* 6-3, 7-6(4), 1-1 del Potro

Djokovic with a range of delicate brushstrokes to open the next game, pulling del Potro in, then lobbing him sweetly for 0-15. 

Del Potro is up 30-15 after a service winner and a rare backhand unforced error from Djokovic, and gives himself two game points by handling a very deep return from Djokovic for a forehand winner - and a service winner to hold. 
23:47 09 Sep

Djokovic 6-3, 7-6(4), 1-0 del Potro*

It feels, at this point, almost unimaginable that del Potro is going to come back from two sets down to win this - especially with the kind of cool-headed, clinical, clever tennis that Djokovic was back to producing, in the very nick of time, at the end of that second set. 

But maybe that's just me. 

Anyway. Djokovic serving to open the third set, and he's swiftly up 30-0 before del Potro - in a ploy that has more than a hint of desperation about it - throws in his first drop shot of the day for 30-15. He actually gets to 30-30, but Djokovic produces an excellent, deep, pacey second serve to del Potro's forehand - risky - for game point, and holds despite an unlucky net cord, rescuing it with some typically lightning movement and regaining the advantage, 
23:28 09 Sep

SET DJOKOVIC 6-3, 7-6(4)

If you're interested, tie-break record between the two is, I think, 4-4. 

Del Potro has to win this set if he is to have any chance of winning this match. 

0-1 - Djokovic gets the mini-break as he handles an absolutely immense del Potro serve with a great return and pressures a forehand error from the Argentine.
1-1 - Djokovic, surprisingly, hands the advantage back with a netted backhand. 
1-2 - Now del Potro takes the mini-break lead! A backhand pass sets up a forehand pass! 
3-1 - Djokovic stops the point to challenge - correctly - on del Potro's first serve. But del Potro sizzles an immense forehand into the corner behind his second.
3-2 - Another fantastic Djokovic return prolongs the point, and del Potro slams a short forehand into the net. Ouch. 
3-3 - A second serve from Djokovic defended excellently, and although del Potro defends desperately, Djokovic calmly sets himself up for a smash with a drive into the backhand corner and puts it away. 
4-3 - Djokovic wins his third point in a row as he approaches to the del Potro backhand, forcing a pass error wide.
4-4 - Del Potro somehow survives an extended rally behind his second serve. 
4-5 - A short forehand into the net from del Potro, and that feels like it might just be game, set & match ...
6-4 - Another lengthy rally in which del Potro throws absolutely everything at Djokovic, and Djokovic soaks it all up and returns it with interest until del Potro misses wide. Crucially so patient and clever and cool-headed from the Serb at such a big moment. 
7-4 - Djokovic takes the set, forcing an error from del Potro on the run with a pacey cross-court forehand of his own!
23:27 09 Sep

Djokovic 6-3, 6-6 del Potro - second set goes to a tie-break

Djokovic takes us halfway to a tie-break with a couple of quickfire points - although it feels like another player might have done more with the Djokovic serve on the first - and a service winner to the del Potro forehand for 40-0. 

And another. Tie-break it is. 
23:21 09 Sep

Djokovic* 6-3, 5-6 del Potro

Del Potro has gone for broke in this set in an attempt to get himself into this match, and it's exactly how he starts off the game, with a huge serve for 15-0 - but a very deep backhand from Djokovic gets a del Potro forehand into the net for 15-15. 

Del Potro defends desperately with Djokovic on top of the point, but the formerly clinical Serb pushes a forehand wide for 30-15, and then turns away for a brief, sarcastically smiling monologue.

Del Potro seizes the proffered lifeline, slams down his fifth ace, and finds another big serve to guarantee himself a tie-break in this set. 
23:18 09 Sep

Djokovic 6-3, 5-5 del Potro*

Djokovic, serving to stay in the set, is up 40-15 relatively untroubled, despite a couple of - perhaps - marginally punishable second serves, and punches away a forehand volley to hold.
23:12 09 Sep

Djokovic* 6-3, 4-5 del Potro

That game feels like it might have been the match - del Potro throwing absolutely everything at Djokovic, but unable to get the break; Djokovic momentarily lapsing, but weathering the storm. 

Anyway, del Potro must hold here - and he's up 30-15 and 40-15 with a service winner and his fourth ace down the T, but he gives one back with a flying forehand error.

Both guys have been complaining a bit this game - Djokovic about the ball he eliminated last game, which seems to have found its way back into rotation, and del Potro about condensation dripping from the roof, seemingly- but del Potro holds.
22:49 09 Sep

Djokovic 6-3, 4-4 del Potro* - Djokovic saves 3 break points in 20-minute game

Del Potro has a 0-15 lead, but Djokovic wins the next two points, the second of which is a 13-stroke rally in which del Potro throws up some desperate, unlikely defensive lobs - but Djokovic is more than equal to the task of smashing them into the open court, and throws his arms into the air as he gets to 30-15. The crowd gleefully respond.

Del Potro surges back, though, as Djokovic's ball just lands marginally short enough to let him run around for a forehand winner for 30-30 - but Djokovic smartly attacks the net behind an approach to del Potro's backhand for game point. 

Djokovic plays his first drop shot of the match and has set himself up to flick back del Potro's response - but he flicks it wide! Deuce.

A long rally - and out of nowhere, del Potro wraps a backhand down and round the outside of the line for break point! 

He CANNOT keep up this level of tennis .... But can he break here? He'll see a second serve - but he snatches at the backhand, trying to inject pace and land the big blow in a cagey rally, and it's deuce. That's an opportunity missed.

Del Potro's backhand goes wide for game point - but just as Djokovic looks on the verge of holding serve, it's his turn to miss a careless backhand for deuce. 

And del Potro will have a second break point, slapping a forehand pass past Djokovic after the Serb goes the wrong way at net! Again he'll see a second serve - again a cagey rally from Djokovic and del Potro panics, injecting pace, snatching at the ball and missing, this time long on the forehand. 

This game is now over 10 minutes old - but it could be coming to an end here as Djokovic finds a good second serve to force a backhand return error from del Potro. 

But Djokovic double-faults for the first time tonight and it's a fifth deuce. A great wide serve gives him game point again - but it's a sixth deuce as del Potro produces an awkward, sharply-angled return that gets an error! 

This game now into its fourteenth minute - and Djokovic has game point once more as he outlasts del Potro for a forehand error. But it's deuce once more as del Potro dances around to whip his forehand inside-in down the line for the error. Meryl is SHOOK. 

And del Potro will have a THIRD chance to break as a cagey rally for once ends with a Djokovic error and not the other way around, this time a slapped forehand into the net ...

And Djokovic serves it superbly, a flawless point as he moves del Potro side to side and moves in behind for a perfect volley. Deuce. Again.

Djokovic approaches the net, I think to say the ball was soft or dead, but the crowd seize the opportunity to ferociously boo for no reason. Anyway, game point for Djokovic as del Potro misses a forehand - and after 20 minutes, Djokovic holds as del Potro's forehand down the line goes wide!
22:45 09 Sep

Djokovic* 6-3, 3-4 del Potro

Del Potro opens his service game with a huge serve for 15-0, and comes out on the winning end of a lengthy rally with Djokovic, hitting a forehand winner back behind his opponent for 30-0. 

The crowd - or at least a portion of it - are chanting for del Potro in response, and Djokovic gestures to his box or perhaps another section of the crowd, seemingly asking why they aren't cheering for him, or maybe just venting a bit of frustration. 

Another lengthy exchange goes del Potro's way - and he slams down an ace for T. Quite a 3-game run for del Potro here. 
22:39 09 Sep

Djokovic 6-3, 3-3 del Potro* - del Potro breaks back!

It's going to take something quite extraordinary to wrench control of this match away from Djokovic. 

And del Potro does his best to produce just that as he steps in on an ever-so-slightly shorter ball to thunder a forehand winner up the line for 0-15, only for Djokovic to set himself up for a backhand winner for 15-15. 

Del Potro levels to 30-30 with a two bludgeoning forehands on the run - and he's given himself a first break point with the same tactic! 

Djokovic serves and approaches to the del Potro forehand, but the Argentine can't make the pass up the line and it's deuce. 

The crowd support for his opponent is driving Djokovic a bit mad in this game - and his forehand bouncing off the net cord and being carried out to give up a second break point won't help - and nor will that! Del Potro breaks with a wild error from Djokovic!
22:34 09 Sep

Djokovic* 6-3, 3-2 del Potro

Del Potro gets a big cheer - including from Meryl! - as he comes out on top of a bruising 17-shot rally despite smashing the wrong way at the first attempt, and moves to 40-15 with a big serve.

But it's yet another extraordinary return from Djokovic, who is just absolutely shredding del Potro's second serve - he hasn't failed to get a single one into play, and every one has been, I'm confident in saying, within a couple of feet of the baseline - for 40-30. 

Del Potro has to come up with a fantastic wrong-footing backhand winner just to stay one break down. 
22:29 09 Sep

Djokovic 6-3, 3-1 del Potro*

This is not so much a masterclass as an entire postgraduate degree, complete with published thesis, in how you neutralize a big server with exceptional returning and smothering defense.

Not to mention wonderful serving of one's own. Djokovic has been almost flawless so far, and he's on the verge of an almost-flawless hold to 15 to back up his break - and that's just what he get as del Potro goes for broke on the forehand and nets.
22:22 09 Sep

Djokovic* 6-3, 2-1 del Potro - Djokovic breaks

The match clock ticks over to one hour and it already feels like del Potro might be living on borrowed time in this match, but he drags up his joint-fastest serve of the tournament and a forehand winner for 30-15 - only to get lobbed after a Djokovic pinpoint pass forces a poor volley. Del Potro gamely produces the 'tweener but Djokovic is waiting to smash it away for 30-30.

A ferocious exchange of groundstrokes ends when del Potro unleashes a meaty grunt and a forehand that pushes long. The Argentine challenges to no avail and it's another break point - and Djokovic converts with another incredibly deep return which forces a framed forehand from del Potro. 

Hey, Meryl Streep is here. 
22:18 09 Sep

Djokovic 6-3, 1-1 del Potro*

What Djokovic wants to do here is hold swiftly and put all the pressure back on del Potro - and that's exactly what he does as he's swiftly up 40-0, forcing two errors from del Potro's forehand on the run. 

Del Potro plants himself at the net in slightly desperate fashion and Djokovic can't make the pass to get the Argentine on the board - but then gives another masterclass in the backhand down the line passing shot off the sliced backhand approach from del Potro to hold.
22:11 09 Sep

Djokovic* 6-3, 0-1 del Potro - del Potro saves two break points

Djokovic is clearly keen to press his advantage, sneaking into net to hit a fantastic reflex volley for 0-15 as del Potro serves to open the second set, then landing a fantastically deep forehand winner down the line for 0-30. 

Del Potro levels to 30-30, but it takes some extremely risky hitting and an ace, and if that's how well he has to play to win a point, it's not going to go well. 

Del Potro edges ahead with an immense forehand to force an error, but another insanely good return from Djokovic is followed with a forehand winner for deuce, and the Serb drags del Potro in to net to set up a beautiful backhand down the line pass for break point.

Djokovic lets del Potro off the hook with an unforced error, and del Potro staves off a second break point with an immense forehand down the line, giving himself a game point with a very good body serve and forehand winner. And holds as Djokovic pushes his backhand wide. 

A big hold, but the signs are ominous.
22:06 09 Sep

Stats from set 1

There was not a lot in that - just del Potro played a few poor points on serve, and Djokovic didn't, and there you are. Djokovic's unwavering concentration impresses once more.
22:02 09 Sep

SET Djokovic 6-4

The consensus seems to be that the conditions are even slower than they have been all tournament, which naturally favours Djokovic. I thought the closed roof would have made things faster, but what do I know. 

Del Potro hits a backhand winner down the line for 15-15, but not sure there's much he can really do here to rectify the way that he let that last game slip, and Djokovic attacks the net and reads the pass perfectly for 30-15.

A rather surprising backhand down the line wide from Djokovic when he is totally in command of the point follows for 30-30, but a service winner wide to the del Potro forehand gets him set point - and he converts with a pounding exchange ending in a del Potro error.
21:56 09 Sep

Djokovic* 5-3 del Potro - del Potro broken from 40-0 up

Del Potro looks like he's about to respond with a hold to love of his own, but is a little careless on the next two points and Djokovic is ready and waiting, levelling to deuce with a real injection of pace on his own forehand on the run which gets a del Potro slap into the net. 

An absolutely superb Djokovic return right on to del Potro's shoelaces gets him on top of the point and he swiftly gets a forehand error from del Potro for the first break point of the match! 

Del Potro hammers away on the forehand, switches to the backhand, it avails literally nothing as Djokovic soaks everything up, outlasting him to get the break.
21:52 09 Sep

Djokovic 4-3 del Potro*

Two things that have been noticeable so far: How many backhands del Potro has chosen to slice, and how much Djokovic has targeted the del Potro forehand ... counterintuitive though that may seem. 

Djokovic does just that for 15-0, and gets a del Potro backhand down the line netted for 30-0. He polishes off a high floating return with a drive volley for 40-0, and it seems like he is beginning to really find his rhythm on serve as he holds to love. Commanding game.
21:48 09 Sep

Djokovic* 3-3 del Potro

There's a slight pause as the ballperson pops out to wipe away a few drops of something - probably del Potro's sweat, let's be real - before the start of the service game, but once it does start, del Potro smacks down a big one for 15-0.

He nets a forehand for 15-15, and Djokovic has him on the run in the next point but the Serb's forehand pass down the line just drifts wide for 30-15, and del Potro elicits a backhand error from Djokovic for 40-15 before a service winner to hold. 

Nothing to choose between these two as del Potro levels to 3-3.
21:42 09 Sep

Djokovic 3-2 del Potro*

Djokovic comes out on top of a forehand duel for 15-0, but del Potro wins a slice-a-thon for 15-15, and has a look at a forehand pass for 15-30 - but he rushes on to it and misses, just as Djokovic's stroll into the net dares him to do. 30-15. 

A second-serve service winner to the forehand for 40-15, and a forehand winner for game. 
21:39 09 Sep

Djokovic* 2-2 del Potro

Delpo takes a 30-15 lead as he attacks the net, and the ol' whoomph of the forehand gets an error for 40-15. Fairly routine - as is the supersonic boom of the forehand down the line for game.
21:30 09 Sep

Djokovic 2-1 del Potro* - Djokovic holds from 0-30

Del Potro wins the first two points on Djokovic's serve in storming fashion - on the second he takes the backhand down the line from high up, injects pace with the forehand down the other line and polishes off the high volley deftly.

Djokovic on the board for 15-30 as del Potro slices tamely into the net - and the Serb targets the Argentine's backhand relentlessly on the next point, keeping such great depth on the ball that del Potro can't run round it to free up his forehand and getting the error for 30-30. 

Djokovic sets up game point with a good serve wide and polishing off the short ball with a forehand winner, but is pegged back to deuce after del Potro produces some thunder with an impossibly deep forehand, running around the response for the winner. 

A long exchange ends when Djokovic strikes a beautiful forehand winner that sizzles imperturbably past the not-very-distant del Potro, and understandably celebrates with a shout before banging down a service winner to hold. 

Entertaining stuff.
21:29 09 Sep

Djokovic* 1-1 del Potro

A swift hold to love by del Potro, mainly big serves punctuated with a foray into the net by the big man.
21:22 09 Sep

Djokovic 1-0 del Potro*

Djokovic serving to open ...

The final starts with a forehand error from the Serb into the net for 0-15 - which Djokovic promptly erases with a delicate, clinical forehand winner on the second shot right on to the line for 15-15. 

Djokovic attacks the net and gets a pass long for 30-15, and a service winner for 40-15 - the first lengthy rally of the match follows two points later and he wraps up the game, boxing del Potro into a corner where he can only vaguely try for a backhand pass that isn't on, and doesn't land. 
21:19 09 Sep

Pour one out for del Potro

I don't think he'll win, but the journey he's been on to get back to this final is quite an incredible one - and he's brought the tennis world along with him in a way that very, very few others could have done. 

Since September 2009, when he beat Federer and Nadal back-to-back to win the US Open at the age of 19, del Potro:
- missed almost all of 2010, underwent right wrist surgery, ranking fell to world no. 484
- built it back up to world no. 4, winning a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics
- missed almost all of 2014-15, undergoing three left wrist surgeries, considering retirement
- returned in early 2016 ranked world no. 1,042
- built his ranking back up current, career-high world no. 3, won Olympic silver & Davis Cup, first Masters 1000 Series title - and he's back into the US Open final

Pour. One. Out. 
21:16 09 Sep

The head-to-head

It's not pretty reading for del Potro fans.

Djokovic leads it 14-4 - and three of the wins del Potro has scored have come when he's been playing for his country (two in Olympics, one in Davis Cup). 

Djokovic has won every time they've played in a Grand Slam - and won the last three they've played, as well. 

(H2H via tennisabstract)
21:12 09 Sep

Players taking the court!

At a positively PUNCTUAL 13 minutes past the hour, Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro are taking the court. 

A little wave and a smile from a relaxed-looking Djokovic. Del Potro seems to be trying to shrink inside his jacket, but a touch of defiance creeps into his body as he hears something from the crowd amidst the cheers, and purses his lips. 
21:02 09 Sep

Pre-match reading

Since we're certainly not going to be seeing players on court any time soon [eyeroll emoji, nail-painting emoji, side-eye emoji]. 

I myself (Hannah Wilks, aka @newballsplease) have previewed the men's final and broken down how I see the match going

The salient point?

The only way I could foresee del Potro winning this US Open final is by – well, I don’t want to use the word ‘miracle’, but certainly by an unlikely alchemy of circumstances

My esteemed colleague Andrew Hendrie concurs - he's come up with three reasons that Djokovic will beat del Potro.
20:57 09 Sep

History awaits

Should Novak Djokovic win tonight's US Open final, he will tie Pete Sampras for third place on the all-time Grand Slam winners' list. 

Currently:
Roger Federer - 20
Rafael Nadal - 17
Pete Sampras - 14
Novak Djokovic - 13

Juan Martin del Potro has no such pretensions to overall greatness. A win for him tonight would be an entirely different kind of triumph - personal, redemptive, a reward for persevering even after four wrist surgeries and the seeming end of his career/
20:51 09 Sep

Absolutely incredible final

The quality just got higher and higher - a deserved victory for Ash Barty and Coco Vandeweghe, even if it did come from a double fault.

Anyway, back to the men.
20:41 09 Sep

Sorry for the silence but ...

...  There is currently an absolutely amazing women's doubles final going on. It's in a deciding tie-break with both Timea Babos/Kiki Mladenovic and Ash Barty/Coco Vandeweghe having saved multiple championship points. 

And it's a much better match than you would think possible given two of the key participants are called 'Kiki' and 'Coco'. 

It's extremely live on bet365 if you want to get in on this. 
20:29 09 Sep

Welcome to the jungle

There WILL be fun and games.

In about 45 minutes' time, Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro will be taking to the court on Arthur Ashe Stadium at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre to play for the 2018 US Open men's singles title.

And if there is any justice in the world, it will be ... glorious.

We'll be here for every ball of it, keeping you updated after every game as well as at other random intervals.

We'll also be here for the next half an hour or so trying to settle our own nerves with various ramblings.



Game-by-game commentary on the 2018 US Open men's singles final between Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro will be live on this page from 3.30pm local/8.30pm BST. 

The match will be broadcast in the UK by Amazon Prime - you can find more information on alternative ways to watch by clicking here.

It's hard to remember a more eventful US Open, with the fourth major of the 2018 season mired in controversy from the start: From the brutal heat and humidity that's seen the tournament scrambling to change its rules while players demand their health be protected, to the universal outcry following the sexist code violation Alize Cornet received for changing her shirt on court, to the wide spectrum of opinion when umpire Mohamed Lahyani tried to coax a sulking Nick Kyrgios through his match and finally, the high drama of the women's final, which saw a new star burst on to the scene in the form of Naomi Osaka, Japan's first Grand Slam champion, while Serena Williams's quest for a 24th Grand Slam title ended, at least for now, in a storm of tears and a clash with officials.

And the tennis itself hasn't been devoid of drama either. Rafael Nadal battled through tough tests against Karen Khachanov and Nikoloz Basilashvili and fought Dominic Thiem to a standstill in a glorious quarterfinal, while an unassuming journeyman, John Millman, shocked Roger Federer on Arthur Ashe Stadium. Kei Nishikori reasserted himself as a force in Grand Slams, overcoming 2014 champion Marin Cilic in five seesawing sets - only to be thoroughly outclassed by a superb Novak Djokovic. 

Indeed, the days of Djokovic playing better and better as the tournament progresses seem to be very much back with us. The Serb, who shook off two years of struggle with injury and personal problems to return to the Grand Slam winners' circle at Wimbledon, struggled earlier in the fortnight with the brutal heat but has looked more and more dialed in and clinically excellent as the tournament progressed, impressing with his wins over Millman and Nishikori. Is Djokovic about to recapture the US Open title and inaugurate a new era of domination over men's tennis?

Or can the sentimental favourite, Juan Martin del Potro, complete a fairytale comeback? Since capturing the title in 2009, defeating Nadal and Federer back-to-back to do so, del Potro has had to battle back - twice - from career-threatening injuries that have cost him years of his career. He has painstakingly rebuilt his backhand after three surgeries on his left wrist, and his ranking along with it, to get to the point where he is now consistently a factor in the latter stages of Grand Slams - and he has been brutally efficient at this tournament, dropping just one set before benefiting from Nadal's retirement as the Spaniard trailed by two sets. 

The 'gentle giant' from Argentina is now just one win from an improbable second US Open title, one which would represent some measure of atonement for the decimation of a career that is now one of the great might-have-beens of men's tennis. But the head-to-head is against him. Djokovic has won 14 of their 18 clashes, including all the times they have met at a Grand Slam. But as del Potro reminded us, he was an underdog here too when he beat Federer in 2009. Could he spring a similar surprise tonight?

*Geo-restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify


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Novak Djokovic beats Juan Martin del Potro 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-4 to win the 2018 US Open - as it happened

Novak Djokovic ties Pete Sampras's haul of 14 Grand Slam titles as he claims a third US Open title, defeating Juan Martin del Potro 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-4

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