Novak Djokovic has been a player to beat this season at Majors, throwing everything at the four most prestigious events and almost achieving a calendar Grand Slam. Novak conquered the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon, matching Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on 20 Major titles and seeking ultimate glory in New York. Lacking matches and not playing at his best, Djokovic claimed six victories to reach the US Open final and move a win away from writing history books. Nonetheless, Daniil Medvedev proved to be too strong on Arthur Ashe Stadium, beating Novak 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 for his first Major crown. The Russian hit 38 winners and 31 unforced errors to leave the Serb behind and produced bold and aggressive tennis to outplay Novak and achieve a career-best victory. Medvedev claimed the opening two sets with two breaks and earned a couple in the third to cross the finish line and become tennis immortal.
Novak Djokovic shared thoughts about his US Open final performance.
Daniil barely lost a point on serve in the opener and grabbed a break in the first game for an instant lead. Medvedev managed his games superbly and held in the tenth for 6-4 and a boost ahead of set number two. Djokovic wasted five break chances at the beginning of the second set, and he needed to seize one of those badly if he wanted to get back on track. Instead, Daniil broke at 2-2 and produced three fine holds to forge a 6-4, 6-4 advantage and move closer to the finish line. With nothing working his way, Djokovic experienced breaks in games one and three in the third set to find himself 4-0 down and miles away from the desired title. Making one last push, Novak saved a match point in the eighth game and scored his first break to reduce the deficit and extend his chances. The Serb held in game nine to move 4-5 behind before Daniil sealed the deal with a hold at 30 a few minutes later, seizing the third match point and lifting the first Major trophy at 25.
“I’m disappointed that I lost the US Open final, but I feel blessed to experience love from the crowd and support from the stadium that I have never experienced before in my life in New York, and not in many places around the world. The energy I received from the crowd from the moment I stepped in the court is a win for life. They touched my heart, and I was caught by surprise. I did not expect that much positivity, support and love going my way. Maybe it influenced my game because I’m always used to going into hostile environments in the big matches where I’m also playing against the opponent and crowd. It was not that day, and I was not present on the court in terms of my game as I was supposed to win that match. In a most ideal scenario, I would have won all four Majors. Still, knowing I was so close gives me great encouragement for the future and makes me feel humble about my game and career, and it gives me a reality check where I have to go back to the practice court,” Novak Djokovic said.