Djokovic wins US Open for 14th major, tying ‘idol’ Sampras

Djokovic wins US Open for 14th major, tying ‘idol’ Sampras

He almost quit tennis in 2015, after four wrist surgeries that wouldn't let him regain the form that carried him past Roger Federer to win the 2009 U.S. Open.

Novak Djokovic was just too good for Juan Martin del Potro in Sunday's USA open final, racing away to a straight sets win and his third title in NY.

But in the last eight weeks the 31-year-old has resembled the Grand Slam machine that held all four major titles at the same time in 2016, wining three of his last four events including Wimbledon and U.S. Open.

With his third championship at Flushing Meadows, Djokovic matched Pete Sampras for third on the career list for Grand Slam titles. It was also just the latest Slam for the "Big 3" of men's tennis - Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer.

"I really am. I feel like these guys, rivalries with these guys, matches with Federer and Nadal, have made me the player I am, have shaped me into the player I am today", Djokovic said, his shiny silver U.S. Open trophy resting a few feet away. Del Potro then held at love and had chances for another break on his next opportunity before Djokovic finally held to end a 22-point game that lasted more than 20 minutes.

All that frustration was washed away when he struck the overhead victor to clinch victory over Del Potro, Djokovic falling to his back, arms and legs spread savouring the moment.

Del Potro had a 3-1 lead in the tiebreaker before Djokovic recovered to take it. "To be honest, I was crying till now", Del Potro said as he began his post-match press conference. "I guess we'll be hiking some more very soon".

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. He was earmarked as the next big force, the man alongside Djokovic to rattle the two great champions he had just felled to break through.

The Serb walloped a forehand volley to safety on his first match point, dropping to the floor and spreading out on his back with his arms and legs outstretched in celebration.

For world number three Del Potro, it was a heartbreaking experience coming in just his second Slam final, nine years after he was crowned US Open champion.

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.

"I was playing nearly at the limit all the time, looking for winners with my forehands, backhands, and I couldn't make it because Novak were there every time". Three times, Djokovic steeled himself.

"For me.I think it's still a win, so I'm just going to count it as that".

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

For Djokovic, this has been a triumphant summer after his difficulties of the past two years and the low of elbow surgery in February.

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