NEW YORK. — Novak Djokovic clinched his third US Open tennis title on Sunday with a 6-3, 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 triumph over Juan Martin del Potro, taking him level with Pete Sampras’s mark of 14 Grand Slams.
And Djokovic said he wished Sampras was in attendance for the US Open final after matching his idol for third on the career list for Grand Slam titles.
Djokovic continued his remarkable summer after missing the end of last season with a right elbow injury by winning Wimbledon, the Cincinnati Masters, and then his second straight major title at Flushing Meadows with a victory over del Potro on Sunday.
The Serb moved into joint third on the all-time list of male Grand Slam singles champions with Sampras by winning his 14th major title.
He said: “I was hoping he was going to be here. I want to say, ‘Pete, I love you, you’re my idol’
Djokovic had elbow surgery in February to finally fix a problem that had dogged him for more than a year and found his best form again this summer.
“When I had the surgery on my elbow I could truly understand what Juan Martin was going through. Difficult times but you learn from adversity.
“You learn when you’re down, when you have doubtful moments. I tried to take the best out of myself in those moments and get myself in this position,” said Djokovic.