A clinical Novak Djokovic dismissed Juan Martin Del Potro 6-3 7-6 (4) 6-3 to collect his third US Open title on Sunday, giving him 14 Grand Slams to move into a tie for third on the all-time list alongside Pete Sampras.
In the years between toppling Roger Federer in the 2009 final and Sunday's match, del Potro almost quit tennis after undergoing four wrist surgeries, three of them on his left wrist, that left him in a deep depression and had him seriously weighing retirement.
The Serb outlasted the Argentine 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 in three hours and 15 minutes on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
He also became just the second man - after Federer - to win three or more titles at three separate Slams and the seventh to win at least three US Opens. Since then, he's missed extensive time with injuries to both wrists.
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And having returned to rise to a career-high ATP ranking, Del Potro took pride from reaching the final at Flushing Meadows.
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.
After a slow start with both in control of their own serves, disaster struck for Del Potro.
Against Djokovic, del Potro is 4-14 in his career, including 0-3 in majors. But Djokovic was in no mood to hang around, winning the last three games to clinch the crown.
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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.
It was a brief stay of execution. "And so, so happy to be playing the final against this magnificent idol".
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.
Again, he let his break slip. And he served it out to it to cement his place as one of the very best tennis players of all time.
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