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Novak Djokovic praises Juan Martin del Potro after first match: ‘He is very talented’

Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro met 20 times on the Tour between 12 years, with the Serb scoring 16 victories. In their first encounter at the US Open 2007, Novak beat Juan Martin 6-1, 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 42 minutes in the third round on Arthur Ashe.

 

 

It was Djokovic’s first appearance on the world’s largest tennis stadium, and he performed well to topple a teenager and advance into the last 16. Novak returned well and grabbed six breaks from as many opportunities.

World no. 3 repelled five out of six break chances to limit the damage in his games and control the scoreboard. The Serb fired 30 winners and mixed his game nicely to have the upper hand and seal the deal in straight sets. Novak was off to a flying start, dominating serve and return to grab the opener 6-1 in 21 minutes.

Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro played their first match at the 2007 US Open.
Djokovic stayed focused in the second set, delivered two breaks and built a massive advantage ahead of the third. Raising his level a bit, Juan Martin squandered four break chances at 2-2 before Novak broke him in the next one to open a 4-2 gap.

Serving for the victory at 5-3, world no. 3 got broken for the first time to keep the young gun in contention before earning another break in game ten that propelled him into the fourth round. Djokovic and del Potro met for the last time in Rome 2019, and the Serb saved two match points in a thrilling 4-6, 7-6, 6-4 victory that required three hours.

“My first match on Arthur Ashe Stadium was a fantastic experience. I tried to be focused on the biggest tennis stadium in front of such a massive crowd. I was the favorite, and I had to remain calm and focus on my game.

I played well on hard in Indian Wells, Miami and Montreal, and expectations are high here in New York. It was not easy to recover from that marathon second-round clash against Radek Stepanek, and I did that, playing well today and hoping for more in the next round.

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