Novak Djokovic after winning US Open 2018

Rafael Nadal talks with Juan Martin del Potro after retiring from their U.S. Open semifinal match with an injury

Rafael Nadal talks with Juan Martin del Potro after retiring from their U.S. Open semifinal match with an injury

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.

After taking just two points off Del Potro's first three service games, Djokovic, in his 23rd final at the majors, pounced to break for 5-3. He had the upper hand in the second set tie-breaker but couldn't convert, and after fighting back from a break down in the third set he served up a double fault to give Djokovic a chance for the final break of serve. "He will be the favourite to win on Sunday", Del Potro said.

"We are proud to be close to these legends", Del Potro said. They went back and forth, through eight deuces and all those break opportunities for del Potro, until he slapped one forehand into the net, and another sailed wide.

Yet Djokovic was ultimately too strong, his ability to counter his opponent's two biggest weapons - Del Potro's serve and forehand - proving key as he triumphed 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 in three hours and 16 minutes.

It was Djokovic's 15th win over the Del Potro and fifth in five at the Slams.

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.

With the quality of tennis only on the rise, the noise level inside the Arthur Ashe Stadium was deafening.

This was Djokovic's third championship in NY, along with those in 2011 and 2015.

Novak Djokovic celebrates his US Open 2018 victory at the Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Amid increasing noise between points and serves, which prompted frequent interventions from chair umpire Alison Hughes, the previously assured Djokovic - who missed the tournament a year ago due to an elbow injury - appeared agitated. "But I'm happy for Novak and his team".

"He's my idol. Pete, I love you", Djokovic said".

"You learn from adversity. when you have doubtful moments when things are not working out as you want (them) to". He made one last stand by breaking and holding for 3-all. Since then, he's missed extensive time with injuries to both wrists. "I really wish him all the best and I know he's going to stand here again with the champions trophy".

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.

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