Novak Djokovic claims US Open win was fuelled by Provence mountain hike

Novak Djokovic claims US Open win was fuelled by Provence mountain hike

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Djokovic then got right back to work and announced that he was, once more, himself by winning Wimbledon.

The sixth seed had suffered in the ferocious heat and humidity through the early days of the season's final Grand Slam but dropped only two sets for the tournament and none since the second round.

Djokovic also leads Del Potro 14-4 in their head-to-head encounters. Serena was crying. Naomi was crying. He fell to the ground on the spot after a 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 victory at Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Nadal hobbled out of a semi-final match against Del Potro after two sets.

Djokovic, playing in his eighth final in NY and already the champion in 2011 and 2015, is now just three Slams behind Rafael Nadal and six behind from the all-time record 20 held by Roger Federer.

The victory puts Djokovic three Slam wins away from Nadal's 17 and six behind Federer's record 20.

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That left Djokovic, who missed the U.S. Open previous year because of a right elbow injury, as the last man standing to defend the "Big Four's" title streak against a man who had broken it once before. "When they shout "Ole, ole, ole, ole", that's what I hear", he said of the raucous chants for Del Potro.

In a tight opening set, there was only a single break point and Djokovic made it count to go up 5-3 before serving it out. It emerged on Sunday night, when the new US Open champion revealed that a five-day hiking trip with wife Jelena had been the inspiration behind his back-to-back grand-slam titles. That prompted to chair umpire Alison Hughes to chastise them.

With the Arthur Ashe Stadium roof closed as heavy rain swept NY, conditions were slow and sluggish.

Djokovic added: "I would like to congratulate Juan Martin for what he's done in the last four, five years".

Del Potro's movement went from nimble to clunky after that. He depended on his hometown friends, a group of whom have been in NY throughout the fortnight to lead cheers in Arthur Ashe Stadium, and worked his way back to the final at his favorite ATP Tour event.

"I was so happy to be playing the final against this magnificent idol", said Del Potro of his close friend Djokovic.

Del Potro's forehand is among the most intimidating weapons in the sport, but it misfired under relentless pressure towards the end of the first set, Djokovic breaking in the eighth game - at the end of a 22-shot rally - and taking the opener.