Novak Djokovic 5-3 Juan Martin Del Potro in first set

Justin GreeneSep 10, 2018

Novak Djokovic has drawn level with American great Pete Sampras with the third-most men's grand slam singles titles following a straight-sets victory over Juan Martin del Potro in the US Open final at Flushing Meadows.

The Serb outlasted the Argentine 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 in three hours and 15 minutes on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

A series of missed forehands by del Potro in the tiebreaker put Djokovic back on course and he finished with a flourish, taking the last three games - sealing the title on his first match point.

He also became just the second man - after Federer - to win three or more titles at three separate Slams and the seventh to win at least three US Opens.

Djokovic and del Potro embrace.

And Djokovic interrupted his on-court interview to congratulate world No 3 Del Potro on reaching the final despite his defeat.

The eighth game was an epic, lasting over 20 minutes and featuring eight deuces before Djokovic withstood the pressure to hold.

Djokovic, who won Wimbledon in July, has now won 14th grand slam titles - putting him level with Pete Sampras and behind only Roger Federer (20) and Rafael Nadal (17) on the all-time list.

"I'm so happy to be playing the final against this magnificent idol".

"When I had my surgery I could truly understand what Juan Martin was going through when he had surgeries that kept him away from the tour for two or three years", added Djokovic.

The 31-year-old, who triumphed in NY 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.

The No. 6 seed won a knotty, loud but drama-free final as the tennis world was still reeling from Saturday's controversial title match between Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka, and he won with the crowd gunning for del Potro.

An emotional Del Potro shed tears in his chair at the end of the contest, but the 29-year-old can be hugely proud of his efforts after a thrilling run in the Big Apple. He was handed a time violation on break point and Del Potro struck to claw his way back into the tie.

Those produce free points against so many foes.

In a tight opening set, there was only a single break point and Djokovic made it count to go up 5-3 before serving it out.

The tiebreaker was resolved thanks to more del Potro miscues on his forehand side, as he looked more and more tired.

"To the support of the loved ones, my kids, my wife, my small team of people that has been there with me through hard times as well", added the Serb who underwent elbow surgery after the Australian Open in January".

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