Serbia's Novak Djokovic won the U.S. Open Sunday night after waiting out a three-hour rain delay and needing more than three more hours to beat one of the best men's tennis players in history.
The win over Switzerland's Roger Federer was the 10th grand slam tournament win for Djokovic and his third this year, after taking both the Australian Open and Wimbledon.
"It's quite an incredible evening for me," Djokovic said after the match. "I have tremendous respect for Roger and what his game is presenting to me and to any other player."
He called Federer perhaps the best player in history, and said facing him "adds a little pressure."
Djokovic and Federer have dominated men's tennis during the past decade along with Spain's Rafael Nadal. After Sunday's final, the last major of the year, the trio has now won 40 of the past 48 grand slams.
Federer has not won a major since 2012 and not at the U.S. Open since 2008 when he beat Djokovic in the semifinals. But he rolled through the early rounds this year, defeating all of his opponents in straight sets to reach the final.
Djokovic grabbed the early lead, winning the first set 6-4, but Federer responded by taking the second set 7-5. Djokovic looked to be in control from there, winning the third set 6-4 and leaping out to a 5-2 lead in the fourth set.
But Federer rallied, prompting an extra boost of energy from the crowd in New York as he battled back to 5-4. Djokovic prevailed though, watching Federer's final volley drift just past the baseline for the 6-4 set.
"Today I was serving at 5-2 in the fourth set and Roger showed why he's a champion," Djokovic said.
There was no guttural scream or dropping to the knees in celebration, just a smile and a jog to the net to shake hands with Federer. Djokovic walked away and looked into the crowd and shook his head in disbelief before hopping up into the stands to hug his family and friends.
Federer, who celebrated on that court five straight years from 2004-2008, could only sit in his courtside chair and watch. The 34-year-old described the past two weeks as "wonderful" and drew cheers when he announced he will return next year.
"I'm very pleased with where my game's at," Federer said. "I thought it was a great match."
He added his congratulations for Djokovic and said he felt great about where his game is right now. "I love the sport, I've got a lot of passion," he said.
Djokovic said closing out the match was a "huge relief" and that he would enjoy it as long as he could.
"I love this sport, as Roger said. He has a lot of passion for this sport, I do too. If we didn't have the love and passion, we wouldn't be here," said Djokovic.