Novak Djokovic of Serbia kisses his trophy during the awarding ceremony for the men's singles at the 2018 US Open tennis championships ment in New York, the United States, Sept. 9, 2018. Djokovic claimed the title by defeating Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina with 3-0 in the final. (Xinhua/Liu Jie)
NEW YORK, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Former world No. 1 Novak Djokovic from Serbia beat third seed Juan Martin del Potro from Argentina in straight sets to claim his third US Open title here on Sunday night.
Djokovic, the sixth seed, overcame the Argentine big artillery 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-3 in three hours and 15 minutes.
This is Djokovic's second straight Grand Slam singles title this season following his triumph at Wimbledon and also his 14th overall, which ties American legend Pete Sampras for third all-time, trailing only Roger Federer's 20 and Rafael Nadal's 17.
"I want to say Pete, I love you, you're my idol," said Djokovic of Sampras after winning the final.
"Sampras is one of the biggest legends ever to play the game," Djokovic added. "He was someone I was looking up to. The first actually thing I saw related to tennis on the TV was his first or second Wimbledon championship. That inspired me to start playing tennis.
"There is a lot of significance of me being now shoulder to shoulder in terms of Grand Slam wins with him. It's truly incredible when you think about it. I watched him win one of his first Wimbledon championships, and I grew up playing and thinking that one day I'll be able to do what he does. To actually be here, it's a dream come true."
The Serb had a hard time last season when he was sidelined by the elbow injury for half a year. He decided to have a surgery on his elbow earlier this season, but had to fight before reaching top of his usual game.
"If you told me in February this year when I got the surgery that I'll win Wimbledon, US Open and Cincinnati, It would be hard to believe. But at the same time there would be part of me that believed I could get back on the desired level of my game," Djokovic recalled.
"I expected I can be back on a high level fast, but it took me actually three, four months really. In that process, I learned to be patient, which was never really a stronger side of me."
Del Potro, meanwhile, was competing in his second Grand Slam final, having defeated Federer for his maiden crown at the 2009 US Open.
"I'm very sad for being a loser today," said Del Potro. "But Novak deserved to take the trophy. He played a great match, very smart game. I had my opportunities during the second and third set."
"But I was playing almost at the limit all the time, looking for winners with my forehands, backhands, and I couldn't make it because Novak was there every time. He's a great champion. So I'm glad for him." Enditem