Novak Djokovic will become the greatest player ever, says defeated Juan Martin del Potro

The super Serb's victory in New York was his third US Open title and his 14th Grand Slam success. (AFP)
Updated 10 September 2018
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Novak Djokovic will become the greatest player ever, says defeated Juan Martin del Potro

  • Argentine says Serb can overall Roger Federer's total of 14 Grand Slam titles.
  • US Open win was Djokovic's second successive Slam success after his victory at Wimbledon.

Juan Martin del Potro is certain Novak Djokovic has what it takes to become the greatest men’s player ever and beat Roger Federer’s current mark of 20 Grand Slam titles.
Djokovic clinched his third US Open title on Sunday with a 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 triumph over Del Potro, taking him level with Pete Sampras’s mark of 14 Grand Slams.
The 31-year-old Serb is now just three behind Rafael Nadal and six back from Federer, and Del Potro is convinced he has what it takes to end up with more Slam successes than both those all-time greats.
“Of course he can,” the Argentine said when asked if Djokovic can claim the record over Federer. “He has 14 already. He won two Grand Slams in one year. He’s healthy. He has a great team working with him.
“Hopefully him, Rafa, Roger will still fight for Grand Slams, because it is so nice to watch them fighting for the history.
“We just do what we can against them. But Novak has everything to make records.”
While not being drawn on whether he could end up with more Grand Slams than Federer and Nadal, Djokovic did credit the deadly duo for making him the player he is today.
“Maybe 10 years ago I would say I’m not so happy to be part of this era with Nadal and Federer,” the 31-year-old 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.”


Joe Root ton puts England on top against Sri Lanka

Updated 17 November 2018
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Joe Root ton puts England on top against Sri Lanka

KANDY: Captain Joe Root smashed 124 and newcomer Ben Foakes again hit valuable tail end runs to put England in command of the second Test against Sri Lanka on Friday.
England reached 324 for nine — a second innings lead of 278 — when bad light stopped play for the day in Kandy.
Foakes was batting on 51 alongside James Anderson on four.
Spinner Akila Danajanya, whose action is under investigation by the International Cricket Council, claimed six wickets on the turning pitch.
He trapped Root lbw and then bowled Sam Curran for nought with his next ball. Adil Rashid thwarted the hat-trick but soon fell to Dananjaya’s guile for two.
It was his third five wicket haul in just his fifth Test for Dananjaya, who must rush off to Australia after the game for an ICC examination of his bowling.
He however could not stop Root and Foakes swinging the game.
Root reached his 15th Test ton soon after tea, making the sweep and reverse sweep valuable weapons, as he hit 10 fours and two sixes in his 146-ball knock.
Root said he enjoyed making the runs despite the pressure.
“That’s what it should be. You shouldn’t feel pressure like the pressure is too much for you, you should enjoy the occasion and make the most of the opportunity in front of you,” he said after the day’s play.
“The whole group managed to harness that today and make the most of it.”
Root raised his bat to a standing ovation from traveling English fans who also lauded Foakes.
Root made an 82-run seventh wicket stand with Foakes, who reached his fifty with a six off Dilruwan Perera. The hit turned out to be the last ball of the day with dark clouds gathering and thunder heard in the distance.
As he did in his sparkling century on Test debut in the opening game of the series, Foakes mixed caution and aggression to push up the England score.
Every one of England’s top seven batsmen were out attempting a sweep of some description.
Jos Buttler dragged one of Dananjaya’s deliveries onto his stumps while trying to reverse sweep on 34. Moeen Ali was trapped lbw for 10 after failing to connect with an attempted sweep.
“From my point of view, it was almost a safer shot than playing the forward defensive,” said Root.
“With the amount the ball was turning there’s a lot of risk involved in that. At times attack is the best form of defense on a wicket like that.”
Earlier, left-hander Rory Burns registered his maiden Test half-century in just his second match. He was trapped lbw off Malinda Pushpakumara for 59.
Burns then put together 73 runs for the second wicket with Keaton Jennings, who made 26, to steady the innings and help England overcome their 46-run deficit.
“I think the temptation with a deficit like that going into the second innings is to play within your shell and be a bit insular but the guys went out and set the tone at top of the order,” said Root.
“It was really pleasing to see inexperienced guys as Test cricketers really set the benchmark for the rest of the group, a really good platform for us.
“Hopefully we still stretch the lead further and that should be a good chase on this surface.”