US Open: Djokovic beat del Potro to win third title

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A year after missing the U.S. Open because of an injured right elbow that would require surgery, Djokovic showed that he is unquestionably back at his best and back at the top of tennis.

Djokovic equalled Pete Sampras's tally of 14 major titles when he overcame Juan Martin del Potro in three closely fought sets - 6-3, 7-6, 6-3.

It was Djokovic's 14th Grand Slam title and the third US Open title. The only two players with more Grand Slam titles than him are Rafael Nadal (17) and Roger Federer (20).

In the category that it doesn't matter how old one is, but rather how young they feel and can perform, the 31-year-old Djokovic is the ninth consecutive player over-30 to win the men's title at a Slam.

It appeared it could be easier when Djokovic broke del Potro in the second game of the set and led 3-1.

After both players exchanged earlier service breaks in the second set, it became key that Djokovic held onto his serve in the eighth game, staving off three break points in the 22-point game that lasted 20 minutes, 32 seconds.

"So there's been a lot going on but I just want to say, I was grateful to have the opportunity to play on that stage yesterday".

Del Potro has a fervent support at the US Open and was backed by a noisy support as thousands of Argentine fans descended on the Arthur Ashe Stadium wearing their national colours of light blue and white. "I watched him win one of his first Wimbledon championships, and I grew up playing and thinking that one day I'll be able to do what he does", Djokovic said.

Novak Djokovic will be seeking his 14th Grand Slam title and Juan Martin del Potro his second when they meet in the U.S. Open final.

"I was so close to desired level, and then I just completely underplayed that match".

"You can win or lose a trophy but the love of the crowd is even bigger than the tournament and that's what I got".

That's 85 percent. Quite a contrast to the current state of the women's game, where eight players won the past eight majors. Three times, Djokovic steeled himself.

"I was playing nearly at the limit, all the time, looking for winners with my forehands, backhands, and I couldn't make it", del Potro said, "because Novak (was) there every time". Tears flowed upon losing his shot at adding his name to a Grand Slam trophy nine years after his first on Sunday.

Despite defeat, world number three Del Potro remained proud after an achievement he never thought would have been possible during his injury hell.

He said: "I think I did a good tournament, but this is a tough loss for me".

But he is a strong candidate for any title when he is fit and the fact he has the most number of victories by anyone over world number one player just goes to show how risky he can become when he is without any injury.