US Open picks: day 14: Novak Djokovic vs. Juan Martin del Potro

Novak Djokovic, by Mal Taam
FROM THE US OPEN – Without a doubt, Juan Martin del Potro has played as well as he can over the past 13 days. His serve in gigantic, his forehand is extremely fast, his backhand is getting better every day, and he is pretty clean at the net.

So how is he going to upend Novak Djokovic, who he has lost to 14 times, and he has won only four contests? I am not sure how he is going to unearth him.

Djokovic is on top of the ball, very cool, and very efficient. His backhand is the best ever, his forehand in pretty deep and solid, he can return from way back in the court, and he is so fast. That is why he has won 13 Grand Slams and counting.

He is healthy again, and two months ago, at Wimbledon, Djokovic finally felt that he can go for the lines, and he can be patient until he sees an opportunity. Then he strikes, time and time again.

In 2017, they played three times, at Acapulco, Indian Wells and Rome (on clay). Djokovic won all of them. Two years ago, the Argentine won it at the Rio Olympics 7-6, 7-6. Delpo was thrilled with the victory on hard courts. So, maybe on Sunday, he can really focus and break him.

I doubt that, because Djokovic generally knows where he has to move, or stay in the middle, and return deep and compact. But on occasion, because DelPo can hit his serve around 130 mph, a blaster, and crush his forehand at 100 mph.

In 2009, at the US Open, DelPo won it all, knocking out Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer. That was really important. But in 2012, when DelPo hurt his arm, he lost in straight sets against Djokovic in the quarters. 

Yes, Novak wasvbetter than the Argentine, and remains so. However, two days ago, DelPo looked much better against Rafa Nadal, running fine and smashing his forehand. He won’t go backwards.
There should be some wonderful rallies. DelPo will not be nervous, but Djokovic will serve hard and guess correctly on his returns and dominate backhand versus backhand. It’sd all about angles and depth, and Novak will push him back.

Djokovic will win it in four sets, the third time at the USO. He is one of the best players ever.

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