Gritty tennis and good sportsmanship highlight the U.S. Open men's championship

Roger Federer 'I hope there won't be a player like me or Rafael Nadal'

Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates his victory over Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina during their 2018 US Open men's singles final match on September 9, 2018 in NY.

The 31-year-old Serbian defeated Juan Martin del Potro 6-3 7-6 (7/4) 6-3 in the US Open final last night to claim his third success at Flushing Meadows and make it back-to-back slam titles.

Roger Federer has 20 titles and Rafael Nadal 17.

Del Potro, the 2009 U.S. Open champion, remains with that lone major title.

"I had my opportunities during second and third set". I had to kind of disconnect a little bit. "But at the same time, life showed me that it takes time for good things, it takes time to really build them, for things to fall into place, so you can centre yourself, balance yourself and thrive".

"Pete Sampras is one of the biggest legends ever to play the game", Djokovic said.

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

When another forehand error cost Del Potro his serve early in the second, all the momentum was with Djokovic.

"He fights every match from the first to the last point".

But seemingly temporarily distracted by del Potro's supporters getting louder, not to mention the world No. 3's better play, he was broken back for 3-3. Called on to raise their volume by Djokovic, their "Nole Nole" chants helped Djokovic rise above the situation. In the fevered atmosphere of the Arthur Ashe stadium, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal and Serena Williams will be among those trying to live out the American dream.

Three wrist surgeries caused him to miss 10 Grand Slam events and by the end of 2015, his world ranking had plummeted to 581.

"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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"When I had the surgery on my elbow I could truly understand what Juan Martin was going through".

Djokovic was better than del Potro on their many lengthy exchanges, using his trademark body-twisting, limb-splaying court coverage to get to almost every ball, sneakers squeaking around the blue court in Arthur Ashe Stadium, where the roof was closed because of rain.

This was Djokovic's third championship in NY, along with those in 2011 and 2015, as he drew even with Pete Sampras on 14 major to be third all time - trailing only Roger Federer (20) and Rafael Nadal (17). "We all go through our emotions, especially when you're fighting for a Grand Slam trophy", he said. "I will see you soon, on the court I hope".

It wasn't long ago he never knew if he would hear that sound again. "I think that's why people love him".

The two players had battled on the court 18 times before Sunday's final at the U.S. Open, with Djokovic earning 14 victories against the 29-year-old and winning six of the last seven.

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