Juan Martin Del Potro’s Route To The Final: 1r D Young 60 63 64, 2r D Kudla 63 61 76, 3r (31) F Verdasco 75 76 63, 4r (20) B Coric 64 63 61, QF (11) J Isner 67 63 76 62, SF (1) 76 62 00 ret.
Novak Djokovic’s Route To The Final: 1r M Fucsovics 63 36 64 60, 2r T Sandgren 61 63 67 62, 3r (26) R Gasquet 62 63 63, 4r J Sousa 63 64 63, QF J Millman 63 64 64, SF (21) K Nishikori 63 64 62
Juan Martin Del Potro returns to a grand slam final for the first time since 2009, taking on Novak Djokovic in attempt to win his second US Open title. Just 20 at the time, it seemed like he would be the man to rack up the grand slams over the next decade. However, that would turn out to be Djokovic as the popular Argentinian suffered with an injury. However, Del Potro finally looks ready to start making slam finals on a regular basis now just years after contemplating retirement. The winner of this match will also find themselves at No.3 in the rankings afterwards, not far behind Roger Federer at No. 2.
Del Potro has been in excellent form throughout the tournament, dropping just one set on his way to the final. He was fully in control of his semi final before injury forced the Spaniard to retire when down two sets to love. It was his first win against Nadal at a slam since the aforementioned 2009 US Open. “I cannot believe that I will have a chance to play another Grand Slam finals in here, which is my favorite tournament. So it would be special to me. Would be a big challenge, as well, because I’ve been fighting with many, many problems to get in this moment.” he said afterwards.
Djokovic has cruised through the later rounds of the tournament with three straight sets wins in the second week. He outplayed Nishikori to extend his lengthy winning streak in the head to head against the Japanese. He remained strong on serve and would face just two break points overall, both of which were saved. “I thought in the important moments I came up with some good second serves, some good first serves. I was returning well. I was putting constantly pressure on him, trying to move him around the court, take away the rhythm from him, not give him the same look always.” he said, clearly pleased with his performance.
Djokovic is rightly the favourite going into this matchup, especially with a 14-4 lead in the head to head. He will make it very difficult for the sixth seed and there is few better when it comes to toughness deep into the big matches. However, Del Potro is very popular with the crowds and this may help in his final push in an attempt to secure a second US Open and grand slam title. “The worst moment was in 2015 when I was close to quit this sport because I couldn’t find a way to fix my wrist problems. I been suffering a lot. I got depressed for couple of months also. I didn’t get the chance to feel better with myself, to do this again. That was the bad moment for me. But I think that is completely in the past, and now I’m having a good present, looking forward for the future. I didn’t expect to get this kind of emotions playing tennis again.”
Prediction – Juan Martin Del Potro in five sets