Novak Djokovic completed a resurgent summer by winning the United States Open for a third time, defeating Juan Martin del Potro, 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-3, on Sunday.
It was the 14th Grand Slam title of Djokovic’s career, tying Pete Sampras on the career list. He is behind only his longtime rivals Roger Federer (20) and Rafael Nadal (17).
Djokovic, 31, had slipped out of the Top 20 earlier this year after struggling with his health and his confidence. But he ended a two-year drought without a major title in July when he charged to the Wimbledon championship. Djokovic followed that by winning the Cincinnati Masters in August, becoming the first man to have won all nine Masters events on the ATP Tour. Djokovic’s ranking will improve to No. 3 on Monday.
Djokovic, seeded sixth, has won 15 of 19 matches against del Potro, who was playing in his first Grand Slam final since winning the U.S. Open in 2009.
The third-seeded del Potro, 29, who has been plagued with injuries to both wrists since that 2009 Open, was the sentimental favorite of the crowd, led by a cadre of friends who traveled to support him from his hometown, Tandil, Argentina.
Throughout the match, chants of “Del-po! Del-po!” resounded at Arthur Ashe Stadium, where the retractable roof was closed because of rain.