Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates a service break in the 3rd set against Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina in the men's final on day fourteen of the 2018 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
The Argentine was forced to dig deep at the beginning of the second set, saving two break points as the 31-year-old peppered his weaker side with cross-court backhand-to-backhand rallies.
However, Del Potro and his mighty forehand came to the party, striking back in spectacular fashion to level at 3-3, while the support for the giant Argentine appeared to rattle Djokovic's concentration levels.
"I was hoping he's going to be here tonight but I want to say 'Pete, I love you, you're my idol, '" said the Serb.
The eighth game was an epic, lasting over 20 minutes and featuring eight deuces before Djokovic withstood the pressure to hold.
Twelve months ago, Novak Djokovic wasn't even playing in the US Open while trying rehab a nagging elbow injury that eventually required surgery.
The Novak Djokovic vs Juan Martin del Potro US Open 2018 men's singles final match will start at 1.30 am IST on Sepetember 10 (late Sunday night in India).
After taking just two points off Del Potro's first three service games, Djokovic, in his eighth final in NY and 23rd at the majors, pounced to break for 5-3.
He also became just the second man - after Federer - to win three or more titles at three separate Slams and the seventh to win at least three US Opens.
The Serbian might be seeded 6th but he's making his 8th US Open final appearance, while Del Potro, seeded third, is only playing in a Grand Slam final for just the second time.