Djokovic equals Sampras Slam record with third US Open win

From 1,042 to US Open final del Potro relishes return to Grand Slam title match

When Djokovic won his 13th Grand Slam at Wimbledon in July it was particularly pleasing as it was his first success at a major since he finally picked up the missing French Open trophy he so relished in 2016.

The Argentine competed in his first Grand Slam final in nine years after the last time he reached a summit clash was back in 2009 when he had defeated Federer to win the title at the Flushing Meadows.

With this win, he has equaled Pete Sampras's mark of 14 Grand Slams.

Only great rivals Roger Federer (20) and Rafael Nadal (17) have won more.

The 31-year-old produced a ruthless display as he recorded a 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 victory at Flushing Meadows in NY.

Djokovic had lost five previous finals at Flushing Meadows, but he was determined to make amends for his lack of trophies in NY as his defensive ability combined with his ruthless prowess saw him break in the fourth game, although Del Potro was not in the mood to give up so easily as he hit straight back.

Never was that more apparent than the game that stood out on this evening, with Djokovic serving while down 4-3 in the second set.

The 29-year old then missed a golden opportunity in game eight, failing to take one of three break chances during a 20-minute game that saw Djokovic jeered by spectators as he approached the umpire mid-game to complain about the balls, the packed crowd sensing he was just playing for time. Three times, del Potro was a point from breaking and earning the right to serve to make it a set apiece.

It enabled Djokovic to go on and take the second-set tie-break following four unforced errors from Del Potro's forehand - including one on set point.

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"There was always part of me that imagined and believed and hoped that I can get back (to) the desired level of tennis very soon", said Djokovic, whose operation was in February.

There appears to be one winning formula for Novak Djokovic when it comes to taking home the US Open title. He has now won Wimbledon and the US Open in the same year on three occasions (2011, 2015 and 2018).

The sixth seed had suffered in the ferocious heat and humidity through the early days of the season's final Grand Slam but dropped only two sets for the tournament and none since the second round.

Argentine third seed Del Potro, 29, was playing his first Grand Slam final since winning the 2009 US Open, having nearly quit the game in 2015 because of multiple wrist injures.

In their first meeting in a Grand Slam final it was Del Potro, back at this stage for the first time since 2009, who won the coin toss and elected to receive under the Arthur Ashe Stadium roof with heavy rain falling in NY.

Since his June trek with his wife up Mont Sainte-Victoire, the mountain that famously also served as an inspiration for Paul Cezanne, the 31-year-old has added a pair of Grand Slam titles to his resume. He played a great match, very smart game. He first won the Wimbledon to announce his return back to top form and has now won the US Open 2018 title comprehensively.

I don't want to compare myself with the player and the person I was two or three years ago because my life turned upside down.

For Djokovic, he got better as the tournament progressed.

Over the past few years, Millman has learnt to deal with the gutless bullying from strangers, but says it can be distressing for other players on the tour.

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