Novak Djokovic believes that Juan Martin del Potro will be back on the big stage and winning grand slams after falling short in the US Open final on Sunday.
Former world number one Djokovic equalized Pete Sampras's 14-piste haul after surviving Del Potro 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 to lift the trophy for the third time in New York.
Injuries have derailed Del Potro's career, but the Argentine was back in a decisive major, nine years after claiming the US Open in 2009.
Del Potro could not stop the rejuvenated Djokovic, but then there was A lot of love in the air at Flushing Meadows, where both players praised each other.
Serbian sixth favorite and Wimbledon Champion Djokovic, who also had to resume his career due to an elbow injury, said during the presentation of the trophy: "When I had surgery earlier this year, I could really understand what happened with his surgeries that kept him away from Juan Martin the Tour.
"Diffic last times but you learn from adversity. You learn when you are depressed and things do not work as you want. I try to take the best part of myself in those moments and I thrive with the support of my loved ones to put myself in this position. "
Djokovic added:" I would like to congratulate Juan Martin for what he has done in the last four , five years. With his wrist injuries, coming back, still having faith and faith in himself that one day he will be a major player and fighting for grand slams.
"I really wish you the best, I know you will be back here with the trophy of champions."
Del Potro – the third seed – had praised Djokovic before, telling ESPN: "So happy to play in the Final against this magnificent idol, he knows that he is one of my friends in the Tour and he knows that he is a player that I want to see winning titles.
"Of course, I'm sad because I lost but I'm happy for Novak and his team. You deserve to win. "
On his own comeback exhausted from an injury, Del Potro said:" I never gave up during my wrist problems. I was trying to fix all my wounds to be here one more time and I came here after nine years, which is amazing for me because the US Open is my favorite tournament. "