Djokovic vs. Del Potro: 3 Things You Need to Know About Open Showdown

Paul AblesContributor IIISeptember 6, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 05:  Novak Djokovic of Serbia returns a shot during his men's singles fourth round match against Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland on Day Ten of the 2012 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 5, 2012 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

The fourth and final quarterfinal match features two of tennis' brightest stars in Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin Del Potro. Both players are on a quest to win the 2012 U.S. Open and there are three things that you need to know heading into tonight's showdown.

First of all, Djokovic has never had a clearer shot to a Grand Slam title than he has right now. Longtime rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are out of action, setting up Novak as the overwhelming favorite to claim his second United States Open championship. 

Therefore, it is imperative that he takes advantage of this opportunity and surges forward past Del Potro and beyond. Even though Nadal is nursing an injury and Federer is an old veteran, both players are still capable of defeating Novak and are still two of the three greatest players in the world.

Granted, there are still worthy challengers ahead, most noticeably Andy Murray. The British superstar has had a career year in 2012 and is ready to follow up on his gold medal in the Olympics with a victory in the U.S. Open. He would certainly be a worthy challenger, but Djokovic would gladly face him any day over Federer and Nadal.

The second thing to remember is that Del Potro knows how to win at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

He was the United States Open champion in 2009 and is in the middle of his prime as a tennis player. He is not the bonafide superstar that Djokovic is, but if there is any place that brings out the best in Del Potro, it is this court and this tournament.

Del Potro is also on a hot streak as of late and is playing the best tennis of his life. The Argentina native has now advanced to the quarterfinal round in three of this year's four major tournaments and is eager to move on to his first semifinals since that 2009 Open tournament.

The third and final thing to remember is what is at stake in this match.

Historically speaking, both players have a marvelous chance to win the tournament and a victory in New York would certainly improve the legacy of each tennis player.

For Djokovic, a win at Arthur Ashe would be his sixth Grand Slam singles title. Because of his young age in comparison to Nadal and Federer, he would be in prime position to rule tennis and go on a run that could overtake both players in major tournament titles.

As for Del Potro, a victory in New York would make him a multiple Grand Slam winner, which is a feat that very few players in tennis history have ever accomplished. Although defeating Djokovic is a tall task, doing so would advance him forward in a field that would lack its three greatest players. He certainly wants to take advantage of this great opportunity.

With all of that being said, the match should be extremely exciting as each player has a distinctly unique style that will lend itself well to victory. Each player is also a physical giant in the world of tennis, with Djokovic standing 6'2" and Del Potro towering over him at 6'6". 

The match will begin shortly and it should be a great one! The semifinals of the 2012 United States Open are nearly complete as Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin Del Potro square off in a showdown for the ages.