Novak Djokovic of Serbia poses with championship trophy after winning his Men's Singles final match against Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina on Day Fourteen of the 2018 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 9, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.
But his 10 career wins over number one-ranked players are the most by any player never to hold the number one ranking - and further proof, Djokovic said, that del Potro is among the elite.
This was Djokovic's third championship in NY, along with those in 2011 and 2015.
The powerful player couldn't hit the ball hard enough with his backhand to threaten top players, let alone the rulers of the sport like Federer, Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.
That left Djokovic, who missed the U.S. Open past year because of a right elbow injury, as the last man standing to defend the "Big Four's" title streak against a man who had broken it once before.
The crowd was roaring for sentimental favourite Del Potro - shut out of Grand Slam finals since his 2009 US Open triumph.
After his 14th Grand Slam title, we look at just how incredible Novak Djokovic's resurgence back to the top of the men's game has been since the Australian Open. Del Potro is also at a career-high ranking of No. 3. Djokovic is tied for third with Pete Sampras for the most career Grand Slam singles titles, behind Roger Federer (20) and Rafael Nadal (16). Now Del Potro rips and inside-out forehand victor into the back of the ad court for 30-all.
"I'm very sad for being a loser today but Novak deserved to take the trophy", said Del Potro, who wept into his hands before being comforted by Djokovic.
Better than Federer at his best, better than Nadal at his best.
Juan Martin del Potro waxed lyrical about Novak Djokovic after the Serb beat him in the final of the US Open on Sunday evening. He has had four wrist operations since then.
"I really wish him all the best".
"I was playing nearly at my limit all the time, looking for winners with my forehands, backhands, and I couldn't make them because Novak was there every time", Del Potro said.
The tension and fireworks of the Osaka-Williams clash were left behind during a relatively calm and composed baseline battle between two friends and familiar foes, who had played each other 18 times, with Djokovic holding a commanding 14-4 edge.
Since his June trek with his wife up Montagne Sainte-Victoire, the mountain that famously also served as an inspiration for Paul Cézanne, the 31-year-old has added a pair of Grand Slam titles to his resume. 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.