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Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Del Potro may not have the engine to live with Djokovic

Serbian looking back to his best

Novak Djokovic dominated Roger Federer in the Cincinnati Masters final
1 of 1

N Djokovic v J M del Potro
Amazon Prime, 9pm Sunday

A two-year spell without tasting Grand Slam glory left many ruling out another Novak Djokovic domination but the Serb has proved his doubters wrong this season and can follow up his Wimbledon success with victory over Juan Martin del Potro in the US Open final.

Djokovic had looked a shadow of his former self after completing the career Slam at Roland Garros in 2016 and devoted supporters were left wondering whether they would ever see him at his scintillating best again.

Personal issues, injuries and coaching changes derailed Djokovic and from holding all four Grand Slams at the same time, the Serb was no longer able to deliver performances of the same magnitude and failed to retain any of those titles.

But in the style of a true champion, Djokovic has roared back to form and his success at Wimbledon in July ended his two-year Major drought and moved him one win away from equalling Pete Sampras’s haul of 14 Grand Slams.

Seeing old foes Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal come through their tough times to end lengthy losing runs must have acted as motivation and on current form the world number six is the best in the business.

If winning Wimbledon wasn't enough, Djokovic illustrated his well-being by conquering a strong field in the Cincinnati Masters. Grigor Dimitrov, Milos Raonic, Marin Cilic and Federer were all brushed aside by the 31-year-old as he enhanced his US Open credentials.

In fairness, Djokovic hasn't had much of a test at Flushing Meadows - he has made the final without facing a top-20 performer - but he has won his last four matches in straight sets and should be brimming with confidence.

The Serb leads Delpo 14-4 in their personal series and all four of their Grand Slam meetings have gone his way.

Of course, Del Potro is also performing close to his best but Djokovic is considered the greatest returner in the game and therefore it remains to be seen how much damage the Argentinian can do with his power-packed serve.

Del Potro has dropped only one set on his way to the final but his passage was made easier by Nadal's retirement in the last four.

The Argentinian's run to the final highlights his consistency this season. He has made at least the quarter-final stage in his last five events, but he tends to be found out by the elite and a career best will be needed to foil the Serb.

Djokovic is understandably a warm order and punters should take a chance on him running out a ready winner.

Delpo isn't taken lightly, particularly at a venue where he landed his sole Grand Slam title nine years ago, and the early exchanges are expected to be tight.

But his conditioning must come into question and a high-intensity final against the best on offer could see him weaken as the match progresses.

Recommendation
N Djokovic -1.5 sets
2pts 17-20 188Bet

Already advised by Joe Champion
N Djokovic 
4pts 5-2 August 27


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Del Potro is also performing close to his best but Djokovic is considered the greatest returner in the game
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