ailment geneva; font-size: small;”>The 25-year-old Scotsman kissed the trophy as he became the first British man since Fred Perry in 1936 to win a Grand Slam singles title.
He scored a 7-6 (12/10), 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2 victory in a match which lasted almost five hours in windy conditions. He collects a prize of $1.9m (£1.19m).
“It was incredibly tricky conditions and in the third and fourth sets, it was really tough because Novak is really strong and fights all the way,” said Murray.
“It was close to five hours. I have always had tough matches with him.”
Murray paid tribute to coach Ivan Lendl, who lost three finals in New York from 1982-1984 until clinching three titles in a row from 1985-1987.
Andy Murray Celebrates Winning Point Novak Djokovic Celebrates Winning Point Murray said he always has tough matches with Djokovic
“He was one of the greatest,” Murray said. “
He has helped me through the tough times as have all of my team. It’s the best feeling for me, I’ve had an unbelievable summer.
Murray told Sky Sports1HD the match had been very physically demanding.
“I think I lost one of my toenails – some of the rallies were brutal,” he said.
“I was really nervous today, I didn’t say much for two hours before the match.”
Djokovic admitted Murray was a worthy winner.
“It wasn’t to be and I want to congratulate Andy on a first Grand Slam. He deserves it,” he said.
“I tried my best and I gave it my all. It was another tremendous match and I am proud to have been part of it. It went to the last moment.”
Novak Djokovic Diving For A Ball Djokovic said Murray was a worthy winner
The roller-coaster final saw a 54-shot rally, numerous 30-stroke exchanges, as well as a record-setting tie-breaker, Murray held his nerve in a knife-edge final set.
The Olympic champion led 3-0 in the decider, dropped serve but broke again for 5-2 when Djokovic called a medical time-out.
But Murray was not to be denied, taking the historic crown when Djokovic went long with a forehand on a second match point in what was, at four hours and 54 minutes, the equal-longest US Open final of all time.
Murray had lost all of his four previous Grand Slam finals – to Roger Federer at the US Open in 2008, the 2010 Australian Open and this year’s Wimbledon, as well as to Djokovic in Australia in 2011.
But cheered on by fellow Scots Sir Sean Connery and Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, he survived a thrilling fightback by Djokovic, himself a five-time major winner.
It was Murray’s 24th career title.