Novak Djokovic claims US Open win was fuelled by Provence mountain hike

Novak Djokovic leads US Open final: LIVE updates as Djokovic battles Juan Martin del Potro

Novak Djokovic felt like it was a football match as Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro and he locked heads in the men's singles final at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in NY on Sunday.

Former world number one Djokovic equalled Pete Sampras' haul of 14 slams after outlasting Del Potro 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 to lift the trophy for a third time in NY.

This was Djokovic's third championship in NY, along with those in 2011 and 2015.

If he beats del Potro, Djokovic will equal Pete Sampras for third place among men for major singles titles, trailing only Roger Federer's 20 and Rafael Nadal's 17.

Djokovic, the No. 6 seed, missed this tournament past year as he struggled with an elbow injury that ultimately required surgery.

It emerged on Sunday night, when the new US Open champion revealed that a five-day hiking trip with wife Jelena had been the inspiration behind his back-to-back grand-slam titles.

"I don't feel sad that I couldn't win Grand Slams because of them".

Even his rival for the US Open title, 13-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic, has a hard time rooting against del Potro, the 2009 US Open victor who has painstakingly rebuilt his career after years of wrist injuries threatened to derail it.

It appeared it could be easier when Djokovic broke del Potro in the second game of the set and led 3-1. Now Del Potro rips and inside-out forehand victor into the back of the ad court for 30-all.

"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", he said. That put the 29-year-old Argentine back in a Grand Slam final for the first time since his breakthrough nine years ago. He won two Grand Slams in one year.

Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic defeated Juan Martin del Potro to clinch his third US Open title on Sunday.

Ever since being stretched to four sets in his second round against Tennys Sandgren, Djokovic did not drop a set, demolishing the likes of Federer-slayer John Millman, Kei Nishikori and del Potro en route to the top step of the podium.

Federer lost in the fourth round in NY, while Nadal retired from his semifinal against del Potro because of a bad right knee. But Novak has everything to make records in this sport.

"You learn from adversity ... when you have doubtful moments when things are not working out as you want (them) to".

Injury troubles and personal problems contributed to Djokovic going more than two years without a slam following his 2016 French Open triumph, but he looked back to his brilliant best at Wimbledon in July and again proved the class of the field at Flushing Meadows as he secured a second successive major. "I think that's why people love him".

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.

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