Del Potro falls in US Open, but being back is his reward

No doubts anymore Novak Djokovic has returned to tennis elite

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

Asked if he had a greater appreciation for winning slams after a hectic few years, Djokovic said on ESPN: "I do".

If Djokovic is reluctant to speak publicly about the idea of going from his current total of 14 to Nadal's 17 or Federer's 20, the Serb's coach isn't.

The third-seeded del Potro had a chance to even the match in the second set, but Djokovic thwarted him in the tiebreaker.

After taking just two points off Del Potro's first three service games, Djokovic, in his eighth final in NY and 23rd at the majors, pounced to break for 5-3. However, Djokovic had a slightly better percentage (15-for-19) and converted on his only break point opportunity to secure the set.

Del Potro was unable to stop the rejuvenated Djokovic, but there was plenty of love in the air afterwards at Flushing Meadows - where both players praised each other.

Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro have begun their U.S. Open matchup between a pair of past champions.

'I'll have some probably now, ' Millman said.

Djokovic is trying for a third U.S. Open title and 14th major overall, which would tie Pete Sampras for third place on the career list.

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.

6-3 victory under the roof at Arthur Ashe stadium - it was raining in NY - pulled him level with Pete Sampras for third on the all-time men's list.

After the controversy surrounding Serena Williams' defeat by Naomi Osaka in Saturday's women's final, a high-quality match between two of the top male players ensured tennis was once again the talking point.

"I have utmost respect for what they have achieved on the court, but also the champions, role models, they are off the court".

"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".

The imperious Swiss star won the first of his 20-and-counting grand slam titles at Wimbledon in 2003.

Federer lost in the fourth round in NY, while Nadal retired from his semifinal against del Potro because of a bad right knee.

This time a year ago Djokovic was injured and uncertain about his future direction. Del Potro would not rue how many of those could have been his had he been injury-free all those years.

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

Djokovic then got right back to work, and announced that he was, once more, himself by winning Wimbledon.

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