Djokovic wins US Open singles crown, takes third Major of year
New York: Serbian star Novak Djokovic vanquished Roger Federer in a four-set battle to clinch the men’s singles title at the US Open here.
The top seeded Djokovic survived a strong fightback from the Swiss veteran to carve out a 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 victory in three hours and 20 minutes at Flushing Meadows on Sunday evening.
Djokovic thus claimed the 10th Glam Slam title of his career. The 28-year-old from Serbia took home his second US Open crown. He had won his first US Open title in 2011.
This was the third Glam Slam title of the season for Djokovic. The Serbian ace had clinched the Australian Open and Wimbledon earlier this year.
This was the second consecutive time this year that Federer has been denied an 18th Grand Slam title by Djokovic. He had been ousted by the Serb in the Wimbledon final in July as well.
In a battle of the top two seeds at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, the spirited Federer was egged on by the crowd as the 34-year-old went for his 18th major title.
The match was delayed by three hours due to rain. When the contest finally started, both Federer and Djokovic took time to find their rhythm and footing due to the slippery conditions.
Djokovic suffered a fall during the opening set, badly scraping his arm and leg. But when the world number one regained his composure, he quickly asserted his dominance, breaking Federer’s serve six times and saving 19 of 23 break points to battle his way to his 27th win in 28 Grand Slam matches this year.
Federer, who was broken just twice during his run to the final, was in fine form, not having lost a set since his loos in the Wimbledon final.
But he was made made to struggle right from the start as Djokovic forced three break points in the opening game.
Federer managed to hold serve on that occasion, but could not fight off another three break chances on his next service game as Djokovic made the breakthrough to take a 2-1 lead.
The second seed broke back immediately, but Djokovic broke Federer’s serve in the seventh game as well and then held serve to clinch the set after 41 minutes.
With the 23,000-strong crowd firmly behind him, Federer fought back in the second set. The highlight of the set was a hard-fought 15-minute battle for the 10th game which Djokovic held to draw level at 5-5.
But Federer eventually broke Djokovic with a powerful crosscourt winner to take the set and draw level at 2-2.
The Swiss star deployed the net-rushing return that he has developed this season, which has been called SABR or Sneak Attack By Roger. But it had very little effect on Djokovic who kept finding a way past, or over, Federer.
Djokovic seemed to be struggling in the early stages of the third set, but he saved two break points at 4-4 before forcing a break in the next game to take control of the set thanks to a backhand error by Federer.
The top seed kept up the momentum, opening the fourth set by breaking his opponent’s serve. He claimed another break in the seventh game as well to force a commanding 5-2 lead.
But Federer was determined not to go down without a fight. The 17-time Grand Slam winner brought the crowd to their feet by winning two consecutive games.
But Djokovic managed to stand firm, seeing off the break points as Federer floated the ball long on championship point.