Rafael Nadal beat world number one Novak Djokovic in a grueling four-set final to win his second US Open title in New York.
The Spaniard, 27, held on magnificently in the third set to go on and win a gripping contest 6-2 3-6 6-4 6-1 in three hours and 21 minutes.
After missing last year’s US Open during a seven-month absence with a knee injury, Nadal is now set to regain the number one ranking.
“Having this success is amazing,” he said. “I never expected it. That’s life and I’m lucky to have what I’m having.
“I really love the competition, I really love the sport. All my career I dreamed to be involved in matches like today. I enjoy every moment.
“These things are not forever. In a few years I won’t have this chance. I try my best, I have passion and that’s all I can do.”
The BBC reports that Monday’s final was a predictably electrifying, punishing contest as the pair met for the 37th time – taking them past the rivalry of John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl to set a new record since the Open era began in 1968.
It was their sixth Grand Slam final and third at Flushing Meadows, after the Spaniard won in 2010 and Djokovic took revenge in 2011.
Nadal, seeded second, had a 21-0 record on hard courts this year heading into the final, and had dropped serve just once while powering through the draw in New York.
A titanic struggle came to a tame end as Djokovic sprayed two backhands into the tramlines to fall 5-1 behind, but there were plenty of emotions on display after Nadal saw the Serb find the net on match point.
The victorious Spaniard fell to the ground before tearfully celebrating with his supporters.
“All of my team knows how much this match today means to me,” added Nadal. “Playing against Novak is always a very special feeling and nobody brings my game to the limit like he does.”
Djokovic, whose loss was a fourth in five US Open finals, admitted. “He was too good, he definitely deserved to win this match and the trophy.
“Obviously, it’s disappointing to lose a match like this. Again, it was a huge privilege and an honour to fight for this trophy.”