Serena Williams has drawn level with legends Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert by winning her 18th grand slam title in New York.
Pitted against close friend Caroline Wozniacki, the American legend started in brilliant fashion and maintained the momentum to win 6-3 6-3, becoming the first woman in almost 40 years to complete a US Open title hat-trick.
The former rivals joined Williams on court in presenting her with a commemorative 18-carat gold bracelet from Tiffany’s.
In achieving her status as an all-time great, Williams has lost just four finals at major level, with one of those against Australian Sam Stosur in New York in 2011.
A dominant North American summer saw Williams also claim the US Open series, adding a further $1 million boost to the $3 million in prize money she claimed on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
"It was a really wonderful feeling. It was a wonderful finish. I could not have thought of any better way," she said.
"It is a pleasure to win my first grand slam here and also my 18th. I am really emotional. I couldn’t ask to do it at a better place."
The 32-year-old was simply too strong and athletic for the Dane, a former world No. 1 who has returned to her best form in recent weeks after a rankings slide.
Williams broke the 24-year-old Wozniacki in her opening service game and maintained the pressure. But it was her movement as much as anything that was the difference, with Wozniacki struggling to hit through her.
Midway through the second set Williams had clubbed 24 winners to the zero Wozniacki had managed off either the forehand or backhand wing.
The pair embraced at the net and Williams told her friend that she had "put up a great fight".
"She has known the struggle I have been through",Williams said.
"She is a nice person and a good friend ... and I know she is going to be winning very, very soon, maybe even in Australia".
Wozniacki, a former finalist in 2009, played a good match but felt unable to exert enough pressure.
"You played better than me and you are an unbelievable champion and an inspiration to me on and off the court. You are an unbelievable friend but you definitely owe drinks later," Wozniacki said.
The American needs to win another six major titles to join Australian Margaret Court, the all-time record holder on 24. Steffi Graf sits second on 22 while American Helen Wills Moody claimed 19 grand slam titles.
In claiming a sixth US Open title, which draws her level with Evert, Williams ensured what had been a disappointing and bizarre grand slam season finishes on a high.
After re-establishing her dominance on the woman’s tour in 2013, the world No. 1 fell to Ana Ivanovic in Melbourne in the fourth round, Garbine Muguruza in Paris in the 2nd round and Alize Cornet at Wimbledon in the third round.
Her Wimbledon finished in frightening circumstances, with the champion defaulting a doubles match with her sister Venus when barely able to make contact with the ball, let alone land a serve in play.
She later blamed the disastrous appearance on a viral infection.