Novak Djokovic beats Del Potro to claim 14th Grand Slam title at US Open
Novak Djokovic claimed his second Grand Slam in succession and 14th in his illustrious career with a 6-3 7-6 6-3 victory over Juan Martin Del Potro at the US Open.
The 31-year-old, who triumphed in New York in 2011 and 2015, sealed his third title at the final Slam of the year with a hard-earned straight-sets win over the Argentine.
Djokovic took just 42 minutes to win the opening set, taking it 6-3, and battled past Del Potro in an enthralling tie-break in the second which enabled him to hold the ascendancy.
Novak Djokovic / US OpenGetty Images
The third seed roused his many Argentine fans inside Arthur Ashe by fighting back from a break down in the third, but it only delayed the subsequent and decisive burst from the Serb who closed out a convincing win.
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For all Del Potro's determination and huge groundstrokes, Djokovic always had an answer from the back of the court and eventually wore his opponent down when it mattered at key stages in the match.
For Djokovic it was another stunning performance after his prolonged spell of frustration prior to his triumph at Wimbledon in the summer.
Novak Djokovic celebrates winning the US OpenGetty Images
Remarkably given he began the season with elbow surgery following a hugely frustrating Australian Open, the Serb has now won three of his last four events including back-to-back majors.
"When I had the surgery of my elbow earlier this year I could truly understand what Juan Martin was going through," Djokovic said at the trophy ceremony, referring to the Argentine's injury nightmares.
"You learn from adversity ... when you have doubtful moments when things are not working out as you want (them) to."
As for an emotional Del Potro, who was back in a Grand Slam final for the first time since he won his only title at Flushing Meadows in 2009, he was at least rightly proud of hauling himself back to the top of the game after a spate of horrible injuries.
"It’s not easy to speak right now. But I love you too, guys," he said. "And so, so happy to be playing the final against this magnificent idol. He knows that he’s one of my friend on tour.”
Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin Del Potro after the US Open finalGetty Images
With his latest Grand Slam title, Djokovic drew level with American legend Pete Sampras - fittingly, on the same court where 'Pistol Pete' claimed his 14th title.
With his career resurgence already established, this third title at Flushing Meadows has further cemented his place at the very top of men's tennis once more.
It is certainly now clear that the dominant competitor who held all four major titles at the same time in 2016 is finally now back to his best on a consistent basis.