Djokovic, patient and strong through two punishing weeks, became a three-time U.S. Open victor and 14-time Grand Slam champion with his 6-3, 7-6 (4) 6-3 victory over del Potro under the roof at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
But his 10 career wins over number one-ranked players are the most by any player never to hold the number one ranking - and further proof, Djokovic said, that del Potro is among the elite.
The Serb, who was back in the final for an eighth time and contesting his 23rd Grand Slam final - the third most in men's tennis history - was serving exceptionally well and earned a break in the eighth game after showing tremendous patience before successfully serving out the set.
Djokovic had dropped to 22nd in the world rankings earlier this year after needing surgery in January to fix a long-standing elbow injury, a problem which ruled him out of last year's US Open. But well done guys, the atmosphere from all of them was incredible, the support they gave to both Juan Martin and me.
It appeared it could be easier when Djokovic broke del Potro in the second game of the set and led 3-1.
Del Potro spoke this week about the low point, in 2015, when he considered quitting the sport. Since then, he's missed extensive time with injuries to both wrists.
"He treats others the way he wants others to treat him", Djokovic said of the respect del Potro commands in the locker room.
Novak Djokovic of Serbia poses with the championship trophy after winning his men's Singles finals match as Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina looks on on Day Fourteen of the 2018 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on Sun., Sept. 9, 2018, in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.
It's del Potro's first major final since he won his only one in the 2009 U.S. Open by beating Roger Federer.
Novak Djokovic says he thinks the chair umpire interfered too much in Serena Williams' match but stopped short of saying men and women are treated differently. "I believe he'll be here again with the champion's trophy". "I try to take the best out of myself in those moments".
"I was playing nearly at the limit, all the time, looking for winners with my forehands, backhands, and I couldn't make it, " Del Potro said, "because Novak [was] there every time". "But the guy's won a lot of grand slams and he knows how to win them", Millman said after losing to Djokovic in the quarter-finals.
Amidst the searing heat and disturbing humidity of NY for the past two weeks, Djokovic battled through and rose above it all to shine under the Arthur Ashe Stadium lights for the third time.