Medvedev Upsets Djokovic To Win US Open Title
Novak Djokovic’s quest for a record 21st Grand Slam title collapsed at the final hurdle in a stunning 6-4 6-4 6-4 defeat by Russian Daniil Medvedev in the US Open final at the Arthur Ashe Stadium court.
The men’s final was featuring the world number one player Djokovic facing world number two Medvedev. And for the fifth consecutive match, Djokovic found himself playing catch-up after dropping the first set.
But this time there would be no way out as the Russian kept up the pressure with a barrage of aces while allowing Djokovic a single break.
In the second set Medvedev stepped up the pressure further and Djokovic showed the first signs of cracking, the Serb destroying his racquet in a fit of frustration after missing two break chances.
With Djokovic on the ropes Medvedev moved in with the knockout punch, breaking to clinch the second then racing to a double break 4-0 lead in the third.
Such was Medvedev’s domination that the only tiny bit of suspense came late in the third when the Russian was suddenly hit by a bout of nerves trying to close out the match. Serving at 5-2 Medvedev double faulted on match point, allowing Djokovic to secure his break.
After the top seed held serve to trim the deficit to 5-4 Medvedev again had match point and again double faulted. But the 25-year-old did not squander another chance, gathering himself to clinch the title on his third attempt.
Medvedev later revealed there might have been more drama had the match gone any further. He said he was starting to cramp up just as he began to close out the third and feared Djokovic would pounce if he saw any sign of vulnerability.
“At 5-4, my left leg, I almost couldn’t walk,” said Medvedev. “When I walked to the towel, my leg was just going behind.
“I was trying not to show it. If Novak feels it, it’s not good.”
Medvedev was also aware there was a line in the history books for him if he were the player to deny Djokovic the coveted calendar year Grand Slam.
“It definitely makes it sweeter,” Medvedev added. “He was going for huge history and knowing that I managed to stop him it definitely makes it sweeter and brings me confidence for what is to come.”
Medvedev, playing in his third major final, at last lifted a Grand Slam trophy while avenging a straight sets defeat by Djokovic earlier this year in the Australian Open final.
Djokovic, 34, was trying to become the first man in over a half-century to win all four majors (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, US Open) in the same year.
“It’s a tough one to swallow, this loss, considering everything that was on the line,” said Djokovic.
“I was glad it was over because the build up for this tournament and everything that mentally, emotionally I had to deal with throughout the tournament in the last couple of weeks was just a lot. It was a lot to handle.”
Victory for Djokovic would have made him only the third man to achieve the feat after Don Budge (1938) and Rod Laver (1962 and 1969), who was watching from a courtside seat.
Chidi Nwoke/Reuters/US Open.