Novak Djokovic believes a sudden back injury which threatened to sabotage his titanic US Open final battle with Rafael Nadal on Monday helped him over the finish line.
The world number one Serb triumphed 6-2, 6-4, 6-7 (3/7), 6-1 to win his first US Open title and third Grand Slam of the year, a campaign which has seen him win 64 times against just two defeats.
But he needed a medical timeout at the start of the fourth set which briefly looked to have given defending champion Nadal a chink of hope.
"I took some painkillers. I had some problems with the ribs, leg cramps as well as a back problem, it was more than one thing," said the world number one.
"It wasn't a surprise. In the fourth set I felt some discomfort with the serve so I went for precision more than speed to get into the rallies.
"I think he was expecting a big serve and he ended up being short on the returns. But he was also fitter so I had to go for my shots and I did."