Osaka's winning of U.S

No doubts anymore Novak Djokovic has returned to tennis elite

It's was del Potro's first major final since he won his only one in the 2009 US Open by beating Roger Federer.

Osaka's winning the championship also must have given impetus to other Japanese tennis players, including Kei Nishikori, who finished second in the 2014 U.S. Open.

Djokovic's rise from No. 6 thanks to claiming his 14th Grand Slam title continues his own steady progress in recent months.

Djokovic, playing in his eighth final in NY and already the champion in 2011 and 2015, is now just three Slams behind Rafael Nadal and six back from the record 20 held by Roger Federer. However, Djokovic had a slightly better percentage (15-for-19) and converted on his only break point opportunity to secure the set.

After seizing an early break in the second set, Djokovic suddenly found himself on the run, dropping three straight games before he dug in to salvage a service hold in a 20-minute marathon game that went to deuce eight times. Djokovic sprinted into a 3-1 lead in the third set before a battling Del Potro clung on, hitting back for 3-3.

The sixth seed will contest an eighth US Open final looking for his third title and 14th overall at slams, which would put him level with Pete Sampras.

Djokovic's year got off to a less-than-ideal start, the Serbian set off on a five-day hike in the French Alps that proved transformative. I feel like these guys, rivalries with them, matches with Federer and Nadal, have made me the player I am, have shaped me into the player I am today.

Novak Djokovic reacts during his men's Singles finals match against Juan Martin del Potr.

The US Open should have been one of the showpiece events of the sporting summer.

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But he is a strong candidate for any title when he is fit and the fact he has the most number of victories by anyone over world number one player just goes to show how unsafe he can become when he is without any injury.

Here's another way to think about it all: When Sampras beat Andre Agassi in the 2002 U.S. Open final, in what would turn out to be Pistol Pete's last professional match, it not only established a new record for men's Slam trophies at 14, it also was two more than anyone else in history had managed to collect.

"Of course, I'm sad because I lost but I'm happy for Novak and his team. I really do", said Djokovic, who gave his pal a hug at the net, and then went over to console del Potro as he wiped away tears at his sideline seat.

The runners-up, Juan Martin Del Potro and Serena Williams, pocketed a healthy $2.6 million.

"I didn't expect to get to another Grand Slam final in my favourite tournament".

But he bounced back to enter Sunday's match with a 13-set winning streak, leaving in his wake a series of stunned opponents. He finished with a flourish, taking the last three games.

'I don't know the answer. Djokovic, up a set, was serving at 3-4 when the two proceeded to play 23 points.

Another US Open title would move the 31-year-old into a tie with John McEnroe for fourth, behind only Sampras, Federer and Jimmy Connors.

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