World number one Novak Djokovic beat Roger Federer in four dramatic sets, to win his second US Open and 10th Grand Slam title.
Federer had been in sensational form going into his first US Open final for six years, but Djokovic underlined his status as the best player on the planet to win 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 and will end the year with three of the four tennis majors.
In a raucous night session on Arthur Ashe Stadium, after the start of play was delayed by more than three hours because of rain, Federer looked to have a real chance to win his 18th major title and first for three years.
Federer, supported by the vast majority of a vociferous 24,000 crowd, had 23 break points but converted only four of them.
However, The world No 1, serving well throughout and holding his nerve at the most crucial moments, broke the Federer serve six times and saved 19 of 23 break points as he battled his way to a 27th win in 28 Grand Slam matches this year.
Djokovic, who had joined Federer and Rod Laver as the only men in the Open era to reach all four Grand Slam finals in a single season, has appeared in 15 of the last 20 Grand Slam finals and won nine of them.
A defeat by Stan Wawrinka in the French Open final in June means the Serb was just one win short of completing the first calendar Grand Slam in men’s tennis since Laver in 1969.
Novak Djokovic’s career tally of 10 Grand Slam titles, puts him level with Bill Tilden and leaves only six players ahead of him on the all-time list. Federer has won 17, followed by Rafael Nadal and Pete Sampras (14 each), Roy Emerson (12) and Bjorn Borg and Laver (11 each).
“It’s been an incredible season, next to 2011 the best of my life,” said Djokovic, who also won three Grand Slam titles four years ago.
“I’m enjoying this year more than I did any previous one because I’m a husband and a father, and that makes it sweeter.”
Five-time champion Federer was playing his first US Open final since 2009, and drew one of the loudest cheers of the night when he told the crowd: “I’ll see you guys next year.”
In addition, he said “it was always tough facing Djokovic, I think we both walk away from it knowing more about our games and more about each other.
“I’m pleased with where my game is at.”
He also lauded the support he received from the audience
“They were unbelievable,”
“Were they better than ever? Possibly.”
Meanwhile, in the women’s single final, Flavia Pennetta beat fellow Italian 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 to win her first Grand Slam title, and then announced her retirement.
Pennetta, the 26th seed, who became only the Second Italian woman to win one of the tennis majors, said it was a big decision for her, before waving goodbye to the world of tennis.
“I make a big decision in my life – this is the way I like to say goodbye to tennis.”
“One month ago I decided that this is the way I would say goodbye to tennis,”
“This is my last and I couldn’t think of finishing in a better way,” Pannetta said.