Novak Djokovic wins US Open men's singles final against Del Potro

Rafael Nadal of Spain retires with a injury against Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina during their Men's Singles Semi Finals match at the 2018 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York

Novak Djokovic defeated Juan Martin del Potro 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 to win the U.S. Open title.

An eight-time finalist in NY who had only previously lifted the trophy in 2011 and 2015, the Serbian was made to work hard on Sunday as Del Potro came from a break down in the second and third sets.

If he beats del Potro, Djokovic will equal Pete Sampras for third place among men for major singles titles, trailing only Roger Federer's 20 and Rafael Nadal's 17.

Djokovic missed last year's tournament with an injured right elbow that eventually required surgery, but he is back at the top of his game now and won Wimbledon in July.

The crowd was roaring for sentimental favourite Del Potro - shut out of Grand Slam finals since his 2009 US Open triumph.

"Of course, I'm sad because I lost but I'm happy for Novak and his team".

Playing on the same court where Sampras claimed his 14th and final Grand Slam crown, Djokovic has endured more disappointment than joy on Arthur Ashe, winning three titles from eight finals.

Things looked ominous for Del Potro as Djokovic seized control early on, moving magnificently and constructing a number of superb points with precision striking.

Federer's haul of 20 Grand Slam titles is more than any other man in history - six more than Djokovic, who only also trails Rafael Nadal and Pete Sampras in terms of major wins.

Juan Martin del Potro stood with his hands on his knees, exhausted from taking the mightiest swings he could with his ferocious forehand.

Novak Djokovic's US Open victory has catapulted him back into the Top 3 of men's tennis.

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.

He picked up the pace with straight-sets victories over France's Richard Gasquet, Portugal's Joao Sousa, Millman and 2014 finalist Kei Nishikori to arrive at a title tilt with good friend Del Potro.

Nadal hobbled out of a semi-final match against Del Potro after two sets.

"Hard times but you learn from adversity", Djokovic said. "I really wish him all the best and I know he's going to stand here again with the champions trophy".

Del Potro, 29, won the only Grand Slam title of his career by upsetting Federer in NY in 2009, but couldn't swing the upset Sunday.

"I really wish him all the best".

"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".

The US Open final suddenly appeared to be slipping away from Novak Djokovic.

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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