Djoko outlasts Fedex for 2nd US Open title
After winning another point in that game, Djokovic nodded as he smiled toward the stands. And moments later, Djokovic shook his right arm, bloodied by an early <g data-gr-id="83">fall,</g> and screamed,
“Yes! Yes!” to celebrate a missed forehand by Federer.
Djokovic appeared to be all alone out there in Arthur Ashe Stadium, trying to solve Federer while also dealing with a crowd loudly supporting the 17-time major champion proclaimed “arguably the greatest player in the history of the sport” by the stadium announcer during prematch introductions.
In the end, Djokovic handled everything in a thrill-a-minute final on a frenetic night. Frustrating Federer with his relentless defense and unparalleled returning, Djokovic took control late and held on for a 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 victory on Sunday to earn his second US Open title, third major championship of the year and 10th Grand Slam trophy in all.
“I have a tremendous respect for Roger and what his game is presenting to me and to any other player,” Djokovic said during the trophy ceremony. “His level is always going to (force) the best out of you and that was needed from my side.”
Confronted with Djokovic’s unequaled ability to race along the baseline and contort his body this way and that, sneakers squeaking loudly as he changed directions or scraping like sandpaper as he slid to reach unreachable shots, the 34-year-old Federer found himself trying to put the ball into the tiniest of spaces. And it didn’t work. He wound up with 54 unforced errors, 17 more than Djokovic.
Another key statistic: Djokovic saved 19 of the 23 break points he <g data-gr-id="102">faced,</g> while winning six of Federer’s service games. One more: Djokovic won 10 of the first 12 points that lasted at least 10 strokes, a pattern that repeated itself throughout the evening.
“Being back in a final is where you want to be,” said Federer, who last played in the title match at Flushing Meadows in 2009. “Playing a great champion like Novak is a massive challenge.”
After all the attention paid to Serena Williams’ bid for the first calendar-year Grand Slam, which ended with a semifinal loss at the US Open, it’s Djokovic who wound up 27-1 in major tournaments this season, including appearances in all four finals. He beat Andy Murray at the Australian Open in January, lost to Stan Wawrinka at the French Open in June, then beat Federer at Wimbledon in July.
“An incredible season,” Djokovic called it.
The 28-year-old from Serbia also won a trio of majors in 2011, and his career total ranks tied for seventh-most in history behind Federer. Djokovic also evened his head-to-head record with Federer at 21-all. They have met in three of the last five Grand Slam finals, and Djokovic is 3-0 in those. It is as spectacular a rivalry as there is in tennis right now, with contrasting styles of play.
Rain began falling about 10 minutes before they were supposed to head out from the locker room, and the start of the match was delayed for more than three hours, beginning after 7 p.m. Won’t happen again: The U.S. Tennis Association is in the midst of constructing a retractable roof expected to be ready for next year’s tournament.
In the third game, Djokovic slipped as he raced forward and fell, ripping <g data-gr-id="97">skin</g> off his hand, elbow and knee. Federer looked across the net to check on him, and Djokovic quickly motioned that he was OK. Perhaps a bit shaken, he would lose six of the next seven points, and then had a trainer treat it at the next changeover.
The cooler, damper, slower conditions seemed to help Djokovic mess with Federer’s attacking style. All of 27 minutes and four Federer service games into the match, Djokovic already had earned four breaks. That was the same total managed by Federer’s opponents in 82 service games across his previous six matches. Federer also hadn’t lost a set until on Sunday.
If there were many folks in favor of Djokovic in the 23,771-capacity arena, they were tough to hear. Instead and make no mistake, Djokovic noticed a vast majority were on Federer’s side, even applauding fault’s by Djokovic, which is considered poor tennis etiquette. Over and over, chair <g data-gr-id="98">umpire</g> Eva Asderaki-Moore, the first woman to officiate a US Open men’s singles final, held up a <g data-gr-id="99">hand</g> the way a school teacher might and asked for quiet.
The momentum, and <g data-gr-id="92">match,</g> shifted dramatically late in the third <g data-gr-id="89">set,</g> when Federer held two break points to go up 5-3 and get a chance to serve for a 2-1 lead in sets. But on the first, Federer dumped a forehand into the net.
And on the second, Djokovic ended a 15-stroke exchange by punishing Federer’s weak backhand with a big cross-court forehand winner. After holding there,
Djokovic broke for a 5-4 lead when Federer shanked a forehand, then missed a backhand wide. Djokovic pointed to his right temple as he wheeled toward his guest box, where coach Boris Becker was standing in approval.
‘2015 one of my greatest seasons’
Having bagged three Grand Slam titles in 2015, newly crowned US Open champion Novak Djokovic asserted that the current season has been one of the greatest of his <g data-gr-id="85">illustrous</g> career. The world number one has been in <g data-gr-id="86">red hot</g> form this season, having won the Australian Open and Wimbledon titles earlier in the year.
He vanquished a valiant Roger Federer 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 in a <g data-gr-id="77">hard fought</g> final at the Arthur Ashe Stadium here late on Sunday to underline his status as the most dominant force in men’s tennis at present. “It’s been an incredible season. Next to 2011 probably the best season of my life,” Djokovic told Sky Sports after the final. “But I’m enjoying this year more than any previous one because I’m a husband and I’m a father and that makes it even <g data-gr-id="103">more</g> sweeter.” “I love this sport.” The 28-year-old also heaped praise on Federer, who missed out on the chance to claim the 18th Grand Slam title of his career. Djokovic, who had beaten Federer in the Wimbledon final in July, asserted that he had come prepared for a tough challenge from the Swiss veteran.
“It’s so difficult to play against Roger Federer in finals of Grand Slams but you know against one of my biggest rivals it’s a great achievement and a great win. I will try to enjoy it now. “He has a lot of variety in his game, slices and coming to the net -- I knew he was going to play like that -- but one thing is to prepare while the other to actually experience it on the court,” Djokovic said.