Juan Martin Del Potro won all but one of his US Open 2018 matches in straight sets. (Source: USA Today Sports)
Juan Martin Del Potro is in the final of US Open 2018 where he will take on Novak Djokovic. A win would eclipse the victor to World No 3 ranking on Monday with the runner-up one rung lower at No 4. The foray into the final at Flushing Meadows is Del Potro’s second and comes at the same venue where he won his first back in 2009. The run to the final is made extra special by the fact that the Argentine had to undergo multiple surgeries on his wrist and had to change his style to adapt to his body. Del Potro will have his task cut out against Djokovic with the Serb holding a 14-4 head-to-head record.
Del Potro got the US Open underway with a bagel and went on to comfortably beat America’s Donald Young in the night session. The 6-0, 6-3, 6-4 win. Playing on the new show court of Louis Armstrong Stadium, Del Potro fired in 11 aces and 30 winners to dismiss the American qualifier.
In the second round, Del Potro got past another American and once again in straight sets to beat Denis Kudla 6-3, 6-1, 7-6. In an impressive show with the serve, the Argentine accounted for 20 aces and won 85 percent of his first serve points. In the match lasting less than two hours, Del Potro faced no break points despite a late fight from Kudla.
In the third round, Del Potro ended the run of Fernando Verdasco who came in hot on the heels of beating a returning Andy Murray. In a battling contest of two big serving players, the ‘Tower of Tandil’ won 7-5, 7-6, 6-3 to progress to the fourth round. The two hour and 59 minute win meant Del Potro was into the second week at Flushing Meadows without dropping a set for the third consecutive time.
Del Potro faced NextGen player Borna Coric in the fourth round and continued his streak of straight set wins by coming out victorious with 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 scoreline. In the match lasting just over two hours, Del Potro struck nine aces and 33 winners to close out the match with rather ease. It also helped matters that the Croatian Coric made 30 unforced errors while needing a medical timeout in the second set.
In the last-8 clash against yet another American, Del Potro outhit the big serving John Isner under tough conditions with the heat making things uncomfortable for both players. The 6-7, 6-3, 7-6, 6-2 was dominated by the intense heat and the duo having to deal with more than the game. Following the match, Del Potro joked: “I had a shower, re-taped my ankles and laid down on the table. I didn’t want to come back out.” Isner stated he went through 11 shirts and estimated he lost between eight and 10 pounds because of the sweat with temperature reaching 38 degrees celsius.
Juan Martin Del Potro led 7-6, 6-2 before Rafael Nadal retired in the US Open semifinal. (Source: AP)
The semi-final against Rafael Nadal promised much – especially after how their Wimbledon match went down. But that fizzled out with the Spaniard picking up a knee injury during the match. Needing the physio to come out twice in the match, Nadal looked to be in some discomfort and retired with Del Potro leading 7-6, 6-2.
with the Express Morning Briefing