It was after watching Pete Sampras win Wimbledon - while sitting in his parents' pizza parlour as a six-year-old - that Djokovic decided tennis was the sport for him. He won Wimbledon and a Masters event in Cincinnati. Del Potro broke down in uncontrollable tears on his chair.
"Of course he can", said Del Potro when asked if Djokovic can claim the record over Federer who is nearly six years his senior.
The 31-year-old player toppled the Argentine third seed 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-3. But then he was broken in his next game.
After both players exchanged earlier service breaks in the second set, it became key that Djokovic held onto his serve in the eighth game, staving off three break points in the 22-point game that lasted 20 minutes, 32 seconds.
It enabled Djokovic to go on and take the second-set tie-break following four unforced errors from Del Potro's forehand - including one on set point.
Djokovic, who had seen a slump in his career after completing the career grand slam when he won the French Open in 2016, has been in top form after the clay season.
He has since won seven more at SW19, as well as six Australian Opens, five US Opens, and one French Open. Later on, when an upset del Potro sat on his bench awaiting the award ceremony, Djokovic went over to hug him and have a word.
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He won two in one year. He also added five U.S. and two Australian Open titles, plus a solitary French Open crown in 1996.
"I was so close to the desired level, and then I completely underplayed that match".
The story of the weekend, however, from the tournament was on the women's side, as there was a little bit of drama in the championship match between Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka. I want to say Pete I love you.
She posed with her trophy at Top of the Rock Observation Deck at Rockefeller Center. He won two grand slams in one year. He lost a set in two of his first three matches. I had my opportunities during the second and third set. But winning at Ashe is as big as it gets. "I know that he will be here again with the champions trophy".
Del Potro's sole Grand Slam title came at the U.S. Open in 2009 and he said it had been an emotional journey back to the Flushing Meadows final.
Williams ended up getting a coaching violation when she was accused for receiving in-game coaching by umpire Carl Ramos. [ALSO LIKE] Wrist injuries robbed the Argentine of years when he should have been entering the prime of his career.
And now the world gets to watch the next phase of this and wonder: How many more majors can Federer, 37 and coming off a fourth-round exit at the U.S. Open, add to his total? The only two players with more Grand Slam titles than him are Rafael Nadal (17) and Roger Federer (20).