Djokovic beats del Potro for third US Open title, 14th major

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He is now set to rise to third in the ATP rankings behind Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, the only two men to have claimed more slam titles, but can justifiably claim to be the best player in the world at present.

His opponent? Juan Martin del Potro, the 2009 Open champ, whose own comeback story is arguably even more compelling than Djokovic's.

To his credit, Del Potro rallied again to recover a break in the third set, but Djokovic was simply too good and sealed the match with a smash before collapsing in delight. "But Novak has everything to make records in this sport", del Potro told AFP sources.

Roger Federer, beaten by Del Potro in the Indian Wells final in March, was impressed by del Potro's willingness to reinvent his game.

Head-to-head, Djokovic leads Del Potro 14-4, but the Argentinian is a powerhouse.

Djokovic's 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 victory over the 2009 victor under the roof at Arthur Ashe stadium - rain in NY meant cover was needed - gave the Serb a third crown at the US Open and 14th Grand Slam title overall.

He needed three hours, 15 minutes to fend off pal del Potro, the key moment resulting when Djokovic saved three break points in a 20-minute game at 3-4 in the second set before nabbing the tiebreak.

Djokovic was far superior to del Potro in the opening set, then dropped three consecutive games in the second to trail 4-3.

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Over the past eight weeks Djokovic has resembled the player that held all four major titles at the same time in 2016 and the $3.8 million ($AU5.3 million) winner's cheque lifted him above Federer as the leader in career prize money.

The crux of the match came midway through the second set.

The "Tower of Tandil" threw it all down, every last weapon he could summon, but Djokovic made sure he fortified his side of the net, a zone that was already an unbreachable wall.

The tension and fireworks of the Osaka-Williams clash were left behind during a relatively calm and composed baseline battle between two friends and familiar foes, who had played each other 18 times, with Djokovic holding a commanding 14-4 edge.

Amidst the searing heat and disturbing humidity of NY for the past two weeks, Djokovic battled through and rose above it all to shine under the Arthur Ashe Stadium lights for the third time. But Djokovic was in no mood to hang around, winning the last three games to clinch the crown.

"I got it after nine years, which is unbelievable to me because the US Open is my favourite tournament and I'm proud of that".

"I was so happy to be playing the final against this magnificent idol", added Del Potro of his close friend Djokovic.

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