Novak Djokovic v Juan Martín del Potro: US Open men’s singles final – live! | Sport

Humanitarian notions that five‑setters are reducing the best players to physical wrecks is somewhat diluted by the presence in Sunday’s US Open final of Novak Djokovic and Juan Martín del Potro, who have experienced more than their share of physical and spiritual hurt in long, garlanded careers.

There is the counter argument of Rafael Nadal’s retirement when his right knee collapsed after he had lost two sets against Del Potro on Friday. But the Spaniard – who played the two longest matches of the tournament going into his semi-final – is not advocating three-set slam matches, even in the early rounds, a proposition gathering some fringe support.

Standing above the clamour is the Tower of Tandil himself, Del Potro, who beat Nadal and Roger Federer to win his only grand slam here nine years ago. Pain in his wrists prevented him from defending his title in 2010, then worsened to the point where he spent more time in the company of surgeons than his rivals on the Tour.

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