Wednesday, February 20, 2019 12:02:37 AM
AFP, New York :
Novak Djokovic was thrilled to match Pete Sampras with a 14th Grand Slam title at the US Open on Sunday, but he said it's Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal who have made him the player he is.
"Pete Sampras is one of the biggest legends ever to play the game," Djokovic said after earning a third US Open crown with a 6-3, 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 victory over Juan Martin del Potro.
"He was my childhood idol. He was someone I was looking up to. The first actual thing I saw related to tennis on the TV was his first or second Wimbledon championship. That inspired me to start playing tennis.
"There is a lot of significance of me being now shoulder to shoulder in terms of Grand Slam wins with him."
The victory puts Djokovic three Slam wins away from Nadal's 17 and six behind Federer's record 20.
It will also see him rise to number three in the world behind Nadal and Federer - the rankings again reflecting the "Big Three" status they have shared for so long.
Djokovic had tumbled down the rankings, slowed last year by an elbow injury and a loss of confidence that accompanied a 54-week title drought.
Since bursting out of the slump with an unexpected Wimbledon title he has gone from strength to strength, adding a long-awaited Cincinnati Masters title to his resume before adding the US Open title to those he won in 2011 and 2015.
Djokovic faced neither of his greatest rivals en route to the title in Flushing Meadows.
Seeded to face Federer in the quarter-finals, he found himself instead across the net from John Millman after the unheralded Australian stunned the Swiss great.
Nadal hobbled out of a semi-final match against Del Potro after two sets.
Djokovic would have relished taking on either - or both, although he admits that early in his career that wasn't always the case.
"Maybe 10 years ago I would say I'm not so happy to be part of this era with Nadal and Federer," he said.
"Today I really am. I feel like these guys, rivalries with these guys, matches with Federer and Nadal, have made me the player I am, have shaped me into the player I am today.
"I owe it to them."
Although he was riding high coming into the Open, Djokovic was among the many struggling with crushing heat and humidity in the first week.
He needed four sets to get past 41st-ranked Hungarian Marton Fucsovics in the first round and another to get past 61st-ranked American Tennys Sandgren in the second.
He picked up the pace with straight-sets victories over France's Richard Gasquet, Portugal's Joao Sousa, Millman and 2014 finalist Kei Nishikori to arrive at a title tilt with good friend Del Potro.
After seizing an early break in the second set, Djokovic suddenly found himself on the run, dropping three straight games before he dug in to salvage a service hold in a 20-minute marathon game that went to deuce eight times.
The crowd was roaring for sentimental favorite Del Potro - shut out of Grand Slam finals since his 2009 US Open triumph.
Djokovic said it was the kind of heavyweight clash he's learned to embrace.
"This might sound funny, but my nickname is Nole. When they shout "Ole, ole, ole, ole," that's what I hear," he said of the raucous chants for Del Potro.
"I thought it was electrifying in some stages of the match, especially in the second set when we went toe-to-toe. I had my corner, as well.
"When the roof is closed, trust me, it's very, very loud down there. It takes a lot of effort to actually stay poised in this moment.
"I'm glad I managed to do that."
GAS explosion has become very common in the country nowadays. Even if someone escapes death, the victim has to suffer burn injury or loss of valuable organs. The authorities concerned still did not take any effective step to control such incidents. In the latest incident, seven people including a couple ...
Malaika Arora, who is recently making headlines for her relationship with Arjun Kapoor and the couples social PDA, recently opened up about her divorce with Arbaaz Khan on a radio show. Talking about her divorce she revealed that it was a mutual decision to part ways so that they could ...
Reuters, Islamabad :Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Tuesday Pakistan was ready to cooperate with India in its investigation of a deadly bombing in the disputed Kashmir region last week, which India blamed on Pakistan, but warned of retaliation if attacked.Tension between the nuclear-armed neighbors has risen sharply over the ...
ABOUT one lakh students have applied to the Directorate of Primary Education (DPE) of the Primary and Mass Education Ministry for reexamination of their results, claiming that justice will be established if the authorities work properly. Some of students who failed in the examination alleged that they did not get ...
AP, Washington :Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said in an interview that aired Sunday that a "crime may have been committed" when President Donald Trump fired the head of the FBI and tried to publicly undermine an investigation into his campaign's ties to Russia. McCabe also said in the ...
Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Actress of present generation Moury Salim has been engaged with acting for many days. Though she has been busy with acting for long time but could not get the opportunity to work in challenging roles properly or the directors did not utilise her acting quality appropriately. On ...
BBC Online :Real Madrid missed the chance to go second in La Liga as Girona came from behind to record a surprise away win on Sunday.Casemiro powerfully headed in from Toni Kroos' deep cross from the right wing to give the hosts a first-half lead.Cristhian Stuani's penalty made it 1-1 ...
THE international organisations and development partners working in Bangladesh did not surrender or renew the Customs Passbooks of their 395 non-Bangladeshi staff till the date. The National Board of Revenue had directed them to complete the task within the January 31 deadline, newspapers reported. According to NBR, employees of 21 ...
City Desk :A total of 40 under-graduate students from different academic years of Dhaka University (DU) have been awarded Sumitomo Corporation Scholarship of Japan today February 17, 2019 at Nabab Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban of the university.Dhaka University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dr. Md. Akhtaruzzaman presided over the function while Treasurer ...
AFP, Colombo :Kusal Perera became a national hero in Sri Lanka on Sunday after scoring an unbeaten 153 to guide his country to a sensational first Test victory in South Africa.The country's cricket legends and politicians lauded Perera, who has become a linchpin for the ailing national side since fighting ...
AFP, Tokyo :Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe nominated US President Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize last autumn after being requested to do so by Washington, a Japanese newspaper reported Sunday.Washington sounded out Tokyo over the possibility of nominating Trump for the prize after his landmark summit with North ...
Actress Shraddha Kapoor obliges for some selfies with her fans amidst a busy schedule. The actress was pictured today in London where she is working on her upcoming project Street Dancer 3D. The official Instagram handle of Manav Manglani had recently posted pictures of her taking selfies for her fans ...