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World number one Novak Djokovic beat Roger Federer in four dramatic sets to win his second US Open and 10th Grand Slam title.

The Serb won 6-4 5-7 6-4 6-4 in New York and will end the year with three of the four tennis majors.

Djokovic, 28, kept his nerve in front of a heavily pro-Federer crowd at Flushing Meadows.

The 34-year-old Swiss had been hoping to win his 18th major title and his first for three years.

In a raucous night session on Arthur Ashe Stadium, after the start of play was delayed by more than three hours because of rain, Federer looked to have a real chance in the third set.

However Djokovic broke the Federer serve six times and saved 19 of 23 break points as he battled his way to a 27th win in 28 Grand Slam matches this year.

Djokovic took another step towards joining the very best in history with a 10th major title, moving him within one of Bjorn Borg and Rod Laver in the all-time list.

Defeat by Stan Wawrinka in the French Open final in June means the Serb was just one win short of completing the first calendar Grand Slam in men's tennis since Laver in 1969.

"It's been an incredible season, next to 2011 the best of my life," said Djokovic, who also won three Grand Slam titles four years ago.

"I'm enjoying this year more than I did any previous one because I'm a husband and a father, and that makes it sweeter."

Five-time champion Federer was playing his first US Open final since 2009, and drew one of the loudest cheers of the night when he told the crowd: "I'll see you guys next year."

The Swiss said it was "always tough" facing Djokovic, adding: "I think we both walk away from it knowing more about our games and more about each other.

"I'm pleased with where my game is at."

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