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ESPN drew the joint second-highest TV audience they have ever had for the US Open for her final loss to Naomi Osaka, tied with the final between Djokovic and Roger Federer in 2015.

Juan Martin del Potro, of Argentina, returns a shot to Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, during the men's final of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018, in NY.

While many hope del Potro gets that second major someday, including Djokovic - he is severely owed by the tennis gods - his foe was simply too good in the opening set. Three times, del Potro was a point from breaking and earning the right to serve to make it a set apiece. At 1-1 in the second set, Djokovic suffocated Del Potro from the baseline to force out errors from the big man and got an early break. Nadal, Federer and Djokovic last occupied the top three spots in the rankings in April 2015.

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.

The resurgent 31-year-old is now just three slams behind Rafael Nadal and six slams back from Federer. There has been a first-time victor in four of the past six Grand Slam tournaments, and 20-year-old Naomi Osaka added to the eclectic mix by becoming the first Japanese to win a Major. He almost quit tennis in 2015, after four wrist surgeries that wouldn't let him regain the form that carried him past Roger Federer to win the 2009 U.S. Open. On Saturday she played like she knew the 36-year-old's game like the back of her hand, absorbing everything the American threw at her, and redirecting them with much more panache.

"When I had my surgery I could truly understand what Juan Martin was going through", Djokovic said after the win. "To be honest, I was crying till now", Del Potro said as he began his post-match press conference.

Del Potro cracked first when serving in the eighth game of the first set. Not against Djokovic, who always seemed to have all the answers - and who said he convinced himself that all of those "Oles" were actually people calling out his own nickname, "Nole".

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Djokovic's most hard opponent this tournament has been the heat and humidity, so Sunday's cool and wet conditions, resulting in the roof being shut on Arthur Ashe Stadium, were perfectly to his liking.

For Djokovic, this has been a triumphant summer after his difficulties of the past two years and the low of elbow surgery in February. "I'm very sad for being a loser today".

Despite defeat, world number three Del Potro remained proud after an achievement he never thought would have been possible during his injury hell.

Leading 4-3, Djokovic caught Del Potro off guard with his exceptional patience and strong strokes to break Del Potro's serve.

While Streep was beside herself, Jerry Seinfeld had more of a skeptical look. "But I'm happy for Novak and his team".

Over the past few years, Millman has learnt to deal with the gutless bullying from strangers, but says it can be distressing for other players on the tour.


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