Novak Djokovic has had a great summer of tennis and he will cap it off with a win over Juan Del Potro in the men’s final at the 2018 US Open.
While the men’s semifinals matchup both ended in straight sets, it did produce a good men’s final that will take place on Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. ET (ESPN). The matchup at Arthur Ashe Stadium will be between two-time champion Novak Djokovic and 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro.
Del Potro won the first two sets against reigning champion Rafael Nadal (Nadal retired after the second set with a knee injury). As for Djokovic, he cruised in his match against Kei Nishikori and he is now 15-2 against him in his career. This will be the first time Djokovic and del Potro face each other in a Grand Slam since the 2013 Wimbledon semifinals (Djokovic won in five sets).
After a rough start to the season due to recovering from an elbow injury, Djokovic has won 33 of his last 37 matches and he won Wimbledon back in July. He has only lost two sets in the tournament and has been the best at returning serve (142 points won). Plus, he has won 61 percent of his second serve points (fifth in the tournament).
Returning serve will be a key for Djokovic against del Potro, who has a strong serve to go with a powerful forehand. Del Potro has only lost one set as well and hasn’t played many grueling matches over the last two weeks. 69 percent of his first serves have gone in (third in the US Open) and he has won 82 percent of those points (seventh).
If Del Potro is going to win this match, he is going to have to try to duplicate the serve performance he had in the Olympics against Djokovic. In the 2016 Games in Rio, Del Potro won in two tiebreaks (7-6, 7-6) and only lost six points on his first serve (36-for-42).
In addition to the serve, the forehand was a key for Del Potro in this match as he had 29 winners on that groundstroke (41 for the match). The question though for him is whether or not the slow courts due to the cool weather will give Djokovic time to get the ball back into play.
Outside of that win in the Olympics, Del Potro hasn’t found much success against Djokovic in their head-to-head meetings. Djokovic is 14-4 in the 18 career matchups and the Serb has defeated the Argentine in all four of their Grand Slam meetings.
Del Potro is likely going to be the crowd favorite to win this match. The fans love him in New York and he always seems to have his own cheering section. With that being said, Djokovic is on too much of a roll now and its tough not to expect that to continue.
Djokovic gets the win in four sets as he takes his third US Open title and his 14th Grand Slam, which would tie him with the great Pete Sampras on the all-time list. That would only put him behind Roger Federer (20) and Nadal (17).