grand slams and he knows how to win them", Millman said after losing to Djokovic in the quarter-finals. Serbian sixth seed is making his eighth US Open final appearance, tying an professional era record, while Del Potro, seeded third, is playing in a Grand Slam final for just the second time.
He is now set to rise to third in the ATP rankings behind Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, the only two men to have claimed more slam titles, but can justifiably claim to be the best player in the world at present. However, backed by his singing fans, Del Potro roared back in the set by breaking Djokovic to go back on serve. "Ole Ole Ole. Delpo, Delpo" reverberated around the stadium in support of Del Potro.
"I think most of all, the respect they had for other player, they never went over the line and that's something truly fantastic tonight", Djokovic said at the presentation ceremony.
Yet Djokovic was ultimately too strong, his ability to counter his opponent's two biggest weapons - Del Potro's serve and forehand - proving key as he triumphed 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 in three hours and 16 minutes.
Djokovic was better than del Potro on their many lengthy exchanges, using his trademark body-twisting, limb-splaying court coverage to get to almost every ball, sneakers squeaking around the blue court in Arthur Ashe Stadium, where the roof was closed because of rain.
However, Del Potro and his mighty forehand came to the party, striking back in spectacular fashion to level at 3-3, while the support for the giant Argentine appeared to rattle Djokovic's concentration levels.
With the quality of tennis only on the rise, the noise level inside the Arthur Ashe Stadium was deafening.
The win at Flushing Meadows enabled Djokovic to complete a Wimbledon-US Open double after lifting his fourth Wimbledon title earlier this year at the All England Club in London. He depended on his hometown friends, a group of whom have been in NY throughout the fortnight to lead cheers in Arthur Ashe Stadium, and worked his way back to the final at his favorite ATP Tour event. It's also Novak's first US Open final after he missed last year's due to elbow injury and now he is back to his best.
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.
"I was hoping he's going to be here tonight but I want to say 'Pete, I love you, you're my idol, '" said the Serb.
"I believe he'll be here again with the champion's trophy". "But I'm happy for Novak and his team".
"You can lose or win a trophy, but the love from the crowd, it could be even bigger than the tournament", del Potro said.