World number one Roger Federer won a fourth consecutive US Open title with a hard-fought 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 victory over Novak Djokovic.
Federer is now two Grand Slam titles behind Pete Sampras's record of 14
The Swiss star trailed by a break in each set but Djokovic faltered at key moments in his first Grand Slam final.
Djokovic missed a total of seven set points but Federer found something near top form in the crucial tie-breaks.
And a lone break at the end of the third was enough to give Federer the 12th Grand Slam title of his career.
He becomes the first man ever to win Wimbledon and the US Open for four years in a row, and the first to win four straight US titles since Bill Tilden in 1923.
Tilden went on to win six consecutive US Opens and few would bet against Federer, 26, matching that run.
I think straight sets was a bit brutal for Novak, to be honest
But he will need to play better if he is to continue to hold off the challenge of 20-year-old Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, 21, in the future.
Federer looked surprisingly nervous in the opening stages and his forehand let him down in game 11 as he suffered the first service break of the day.
The whole match turned moments later, as Djokovic moved to 40-0 and three set points but could not close it out, letting a total of five chances go in a dramatic game.
Federer capitalised as the Serb then let a mini-break go in the tie-break and double faulted at set-point down.
It was a huge blow for Djokovic but he regained his composure and broke first in the second set as more errors flowed from the Federer racquet.
Again, the 20-year-old could not see it through, and he was broken to love in game seven.
Two more set points went begging in the 12th game, one with a Federer ace and the second when a backhand went long by a whisker.
It came down to another tie-break and this time Federer really did hit top form, serving superbly and wrapping it up with successive forehand and backhand winners.
Still there were more chances for Djokovic, notably a 0-40 lead and three break points in the fifth game of the third set, but he missed two backhands and inexplicably left a forehand that dropped on the line right in front of him.
It's been an amazing two weeks, an amazing experience for me
In truth, Federer was not having to do that much to stay in front and an increasingly tired looking Djokovic finally succumbed soon after.
An incredible angled backhand winner took Federer to deuce at 5-4 and, after Djokovic saved one match point with a forehand winner, a backhand into the net handed the Swiss victory on the second.
"I think straight sets was a bit brutal for Novak, to be honest," said Federer. "He deserved better than that. He's had a fantastic run, not only this tournament but the entire year.
"I told him at the net 'keep it up.' We're going to have many more battles I think."
And asked if he had been nervous, Federer said: "I can admit that. I've had an upset stomach the last few days. Nervous, shaking, cold hands before the match. I've had it all.
"And I'm supposed to be the experienced guy whose gotten used to the situation, but you never do get used to it."
Djokovic said: "It's been an amazing two weeks, an amazing experience for me and finally I got to my first Grand Slam final.
"I'd like to congratulate Roger, once again he has shown that he is the best and he deserved to win today. He was the better player."