Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic won the US Open for the fourth time in his career and won his 24th Grand Slam title, equaling the all-time record of Australian Margaret Court. In the final, he beat the Russian Daniil Medvedev in three hours and 17 minutes on New York concrete 6:3, 7:6, 6:3. The 36-year-old native of Belgrade also became the oldest US Open singles winner in history.
Djokovic avenged Medvedev’s 2021 final defeat at Flushing Meadows, winning the tenth of their fifteen meetings. The protégé of coach Goran Ivanišević, who will return to the post of world number one, dominated the New York Grand Slam after five years. He also succeeded in 2011 and 2015. He did not start last year due to the lack of vaccination against the coronavirus.
“Of course, it means a lot to me. I’m living my childhood dream. The fact that I can write the history of this sport is something amazing. It’s hard to describe it in words,” Djokovic said in an on-court interview.
Tribute to Kobe Bryant
“Kobe was a great friend of mine. We talked a lot about the mentality of winners. When I was dealing with injuries, he was one of the ones I relied on the most. He always helped me with some advice. I think when he became a legend of the Lakers and the world of basketball, he also wore a jersey with the number 24,” added Djokovic.
Medvedev, seeded third, lost his chance to win a second Grand Slam title. The 27-year-old Russian, who knocked out the reigning champion Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz in the semi-finals, lost the fourth of five final duels at the “big four” tournaments.
With his 24th Grand Slam title, Djokovic consolidated his position as the most successful tennis player in history. He thus moved away from the head of the Spaniard Rafael Nadal, who has two fewer triumphs (22) and equaled the absolute maximum of the Australian Court. In his 36th final appearance, he improved his record to 24 wins and 12 defeats.
What else is he doing here?
“First of all, I would like to ask Novak what he is still doing here,” said Medvedev with a smile. “It’s our third Grand Slam final and I believe it won’t be the last. I congratulate him on 24 Grand Slams. I don’t think I have a bad career because I have twenty titles (on the ATP circuit), but he has exactly twenty-four Grand Slams. What can I say about that , just wow,” added Medvedev.
The Serbian tennis player also triumphed at the third Grand Slam this season – before that he won at the Australian Open and Roland Garros. He failed only at Wimbledon, where he was defeated by Alcaraz in the final.
Djokovic had a better start to the match. He got a break right in the second game, raced to a 3-0 lead, and thanks to a hundred percent service, he took the lead after forty-eight minutes of play.
But Medvedev became more precise in the second set, improved his movement, and Djokovic started to have problems after longer exchanges. In the seventh game, he did not use a break point, after one of the situations he fell to the ground and took a long breath. Also in the next few minutes, he often leaned on his knees and did not hide his tiredness.
While Medvedev tried to play long exchanges, Djokovic shortened them and often went to the net after serves. At 5:6, the Serbian tennis player deflected a set point and forced a shortened game. He won it 7:5 after a series of thrilling exchanges.
Before the start of the third set, Djokovic retired, Medvedev requested a medical break to treat his left shoulder. However, the experienced Serb returned to his previous well-being after the break. He won a break in the fourth game, and although he did not confirm it, he managed to win his opponent’s serve once more. In the end, when Medvedev sent the ball into the net on Djokovic’s first match point, the native of Belgrade could start celebrating.
In addition to the overall victory, Djokovic will receive a reward of three million dollars (roughly 66.8 million crowns), Medvedev will receive half the amount.
US Open tennis tournament in New York (hard surface, $65 million endowment):
Singles – Final: Djokovic (2-Serbia) – Medvedev (3-Russia) 6:3, 7:6 (7:5), 6:3.
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