Novak Djokovic wins men's US Open singles title

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

But everything - his health, his backhand and his confidence - has come together this season for the Argentine to have his best year since 2009, when he won the US Open and snapped Roger Federer's 40-match NY win streak in the final.

'I had to figure out early in my career, when I was losing most of the big matches on the Grand Slams against them, what it takes for me to actually kind of improve and develop my game to be able to challenge them, to be able to start winning against them when it matters the most.

Later on, when an upset del Potro sat on his bench awaiting the award ceremony, Djokovic went over to hug him and have a word. He was, in short, out of sorts. But when Djokovic faced three break points in the following game, an epic that required 22 points to settle, he saved them all.

Djokovic passed those physical tests and no doubt enjoyed the cooler air that descended upon the Big Apple in time for his semifinal.

In a battle between two former US Open champions - Juan Martin del Potro won his lone Grand Slam title here nine years ago here - it was Djokovic who prevailed 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 on a rainy Sunday with the convertible-topped roof of Arthur Ashe stadium closed.

"I was hoping he [Pete Sampras] would be here tonight but he's not".

"The last two months have been terrific".

Without much trouble, Djokovic held his own and took the Championship in NY for a third time.

It was plain sailing for the 31-year-old Serb who is chasing a 14th Slam title to take him level with Pete Sampras on the all-time list. I want to say Pete I love you.

Third seed Del Potro, the champion in 2009, was 7-6 (7/3), 6-2 ahead when Nadal retired.

"I don't feel sad that I couldn't win Grand Slams because of them". The "what-ifs" will always swirl around talk of Del Potro's place in the sport.

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While the 6-6 del Potro relied on his long strides, the 6-2 Djokovic over and over demonstrated a sort of gymnastic telepathy - all agility and anticipation.

Those produce free points against so many foes.

"The thing is, I'm not really sure what happened between Serena and the umpire".

The sixth seed dominated the match from the off as he triumphed 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 for a second successive grand slam title and the ideal end to a year that saw the Serb recover from a loss of form and a serious elbow injury. "And I keep getting asked questions about it, but I'm not too sure", said Osaka, adding that the penalties had not diminished her sense of accomplishment in winning the match.

Juan Martin del Potro believes Novak Djokovic can end his career as the most successful Grand Slam title victor, surpassing Roger Federer's current mark of 20. It was long and tired as fortunes swung back and forth. While del Potro put up a tough fight, the native of Serbia found a way to gut it out in the end.

First head of the United States Tennis Association Katrina Adams told ESPN: "We watch the guys do this all the time, they're badgering the umpire on the changeovers". Del Potro would not rue how many of those could have been his had he been injury-free all those years.

While Streep was beside herself, Jerry Seinfeld had more of a skeptical look. He made one last stand by breaking and holding for 3-all.

He had hit his peak, Vajda said, at "just at the right time".

This is the first time for a Japanese player, male or female, to become a Grand Slam singles champion.

I remember one moment particularly when we climbed that mountain.

He cried for a long time after the match and admitted it will be hard to get over.

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