He has a 21-10 record over Nadal in the last nine seasons. The last time they played in a Grand Slam final, at the Australian Open in January, Djokovic painted a masterpiece, winning, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3, in just over two hours.
Including this game, his record against Federer in that span is just as impressive: 20-9.
Still, records do not count when it comes to public sentiment. Nadal and Federer are loved. Djokovic, before this match and even after him, is simply respected, albeit deeply.
His face-to-face record against Federer now includes three victories in the Wimbledon final, where Federer has claimed a record eight men's titles. It also includes three memorable victories at the US Open, saving match points in the 2010 and 2011 semifinals and winning the 2015 final.
Unlike the environment in which final in New York, where the febrile and pro-Federer audience brushed the rudeness, the crowd here was not filled with evil.
The spectators were educated with him and granted him applause at all times, although he was often silent, moderate and reluctantly. When he made a mistake, there was applause. When Federer made a mistake, there were moans.
"Of course, if you have the majority of the crowd on your side, this helps, it gives you motivation, it gives you strength, it gives you energy," said Djokovic. "When you do not do it, then you have to find it inside."
In the final set, Federer looked tired. But with the crowd urging him to keep going, he moved forward, breaking Djokovic with a cross-field right pass.