Djokovic crushes Del Potro in one-sided final

No doubts anymore Novak Djokovic has returned to tennis elite

Novak Djokovic defeated Juan Martin Del Potro 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 to win his third US Open title in NY.

Djokovic also was the champion in NY in 2011 and 2015.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts during his U.S. men's singles finals against Juan Martin del Potro.

Asked if Djokovic could surpass Federer's record, del Potro was emphatic in his response.

After seizing an early break in the second set, Djokovic suddenly found himself on the run, dropping three straight games before he dug in to salvage a service hold in a 20-minute marathon game that went to deuce eight times. But Djokovic was in no mood to hang around, winning the last three games to clinch the crown. Add in the trophies he has earned at six Australian Opens, one French Open and four Wimbledons, most recently in July, and the 31-year-old Serb pulled even with Pete Sampras for the third-most majors among men, trailing only Roger Federer's 20 and Rafael Nadal's 17.

But Djokovic is almost six years younger than Federer and - prior to a two-year barren spell that was ended by his Wimbledon triumph - had been winning slams at an average of almost two a season. Del Potro, the 29-year-old Argentinian who won the 2009 Open, is back at his best after a series of wrist surgeries, ranked a career high No. 3.

Sloane Stephens, who won last year's U.S. Open and lost in the quarterfinals last week, dropped from No. 3 to No. 9. "But for me, I felt like I really had to focus during this match because she's such a great champion, and I know that she can come back from any point".

Juan Martin del Potro stood with his hands on his knees, exhausted from taking the mightiest swings he could with his ferocious forehand. "When they shout "Ole, ole, ole, ole", that's what I hear", he said of the raucous chants for Del Potro.

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Del Potro might have beaten other players Sunday, same as some of the losses to Federer and Nadal through the years may have been victories against lesser foes.

Amid increasing noise between points and serves, which prompted frequent interventions from chair umpire Alison Hughes, the previously assured Djokovic - who missed the tournament past year due to an elbow injury - appeared agitated.

For quite some time after that Djokovic looked towards Del Potro's singing friend with utmost anger, unable to get them out of his head and that showed on the court.

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.

The nine-year gap between his first and second Grand Slam finals is the longest ever in the men's game.

"You learn when you're down, when you have doubtful moments, when things are not working out as you want them to".

Despite defeat, world number three Del Potro remained proud after an achievement he never thought would have been possible during his injury hell. Angelique Kerber went from No. 4 to No. 3.

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