Roger Federer has won his 13th Grand Slam crown and fifth consecutive US Open final today, defeating British sixth seed Andy Murray 6-2, 7-5, 6-2 to move one Slam title shy of the all-time record.
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Swiss second seed Federer stretched his US Open match win streak to 34, his last loss at Flushing Meadows coming to David Nalbandian in the fourth round of 2003, and took home the top prize of $US1.5 million ($A1.84 million).
Federer's 56th career crown moved him into sole possession of second place on the all-time Slam title list, one more than Roy Emerson and one below the career record 14 won by Pete Sampras.
It was the 13th title in 38 Slam events for Federer, five fewer Slams than it took Sampras to capture his 13th major title.
Federer, 27, thrilled a sellout crowd of 23,763 at Arthur Ashe Stadium in the first US Open final since 1987 pushed to Monday by bad weather.
It was the first Monday men's Slam final since Goran Ivanisevic won at Wimbledon in 2001.
After losing this year's Wimbledon and French Open finals and his number one ranking to Spain's Rafael Nadal, Federer's aura of invincibility had dimmed but his victory Monday served notice he still remains a force in the sport.
Federer became the first man to win five Slams in a row at two different events, having also completed the feat last year at Wimbledon. No one had won five US titles in a row since Bill Tilden in 1924.
Murray joined a victims list for Federer in US Open finals that also includes Australian Lleyton Hewitt in 2004, Americans Andre Agassi in 2005 and Andy Roddick in 2006 and Serbian Novak Djokovic last year.)
The 21-year-old Scotsman would have the first British man to win a Grand Slam since Fred Perry captured the 1936 US Open and the first Briton of either sex to win a Slam singles title since Virginia Wade won at Wimbledon in 1977.
Murray's loss was the fifth for a British man in a Slam final since Perry's triumph, including Greg Rusedski at the 1997 US Open, John Lloyd at the 1977 Australian Open and Bunny Austin at the 1937 French Open and 1938 Wimbledon.
Murray netted a backhand to give Federer a break chance in the sixth game, then sent a forehand wide to fall behind 4-2.
Federer held and broke again to finish the first set in 27 minutes when Murray sent a backhand wide.
Federer swatted a forehand cross-court winner to break Murray again in the second game of the second set for a 2-0 lead, but Murray broke back at love, held to 2-2 and went up 0-40 on Federer's serve in the fifth game.
On the next three critical points, Federer summoned his Swiss precision and denied Murray, twice on forehand winners and the last on his third overhead smash of the key point, on the way to holding serve.
The turning point came in the final game of the second set with Murray serving to try and force a tie-breaker. Federer hit a backhand volley winner and an overhead smash to reach 0-40 and broke for the set on a forehand winner.
That seemed to take the spirit from the gallant Scot as Federer broke at love in the second and fourth games of the third set.
Federer served for the match up 5-1 and was two points from the title, but Murray smacked a forehand winner and stole back a break when Federer netted a backhand.
Murray double faulted in the eighth game to give Federer his first championship point but saved it with a backhand volley winner.
Federer claimed another title chance with a forehand winner and won the final point after three overhand smashes, the last of which the desperate Brit sent into the net to end matters after one hour and 51 minutes.
Federer fell to his knees and then rolled onto his back, overcome with the moment as he screamed his joy before rising and raising his hands in a victory salute to the crowd.
Federer's 17th Slam final, two shy of Ivan Lendl's all-time record, was the first Slam final for Murray, who ousted Nadal in the semi-finals and was 2-1 in prior matches with Federer.
Murray, who will jump to fourth in the rankings to match the top British mark, would have been the first man to beat the world's two top-ranked players in the same Grand Slam event since Sergi Bruguera at the 1993 French Open.
Roger Federer's paths to the US Open men's championship
(prefix number denotes seeding):
2-Roger Federer (SUI)
1st rd: bt Maximo Gonzalez (ARG) 6-3 6-0 6-3
2nd rd: bt Thiago Alves (BRA) 6-3 7-5 6-4
3rd rd: bt 28-Radek Stepanek (CZE) 6-3 6-3 6-2
4th rd: bt 23-Igor Andreev (RUS) 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 3-6 6-3
bt Gilles Muller (LUX) 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 7-6 (7-5)
3-bt Novak Djokovic (SRB) 6-3 5-7 7-5 6-2
6-bt Andy Murray (GBR) 6-2 7-5 6-2