Novak Djokovic has emerged from an exhilarating and exhausting US Open remaining with a twenty fourth Grand Slam title, utilizing each ounce of his power and a few serve-and-volley guile to beat Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3 in a match that was extra carefully contested than the straight-set rating indicated.
On Sunday, Djokovic, a 36-year-old from Serbia, moved one main singles title in entrance of Serena Williams to change into the primary participant to win 24 within the Open period, which started in 1968. Margaret Courtroom additionally collected a complete of 24 however 13 of these got here earlier than professionals have been admitted to the Slam occasions.
There have been moments, notably within the one-hour, 44-minute second set that was as a lot about tenacity as expertise, when Djokovic seemed to be faltering. After a few of the most gruelling factors – and there have been many – he would lean over with fingers on knees or use his racket for assist or pause to stretch his legs.
This triumph in opposition to Medvedev, the opponent who beat him within the 2021 remaining at Flushing Meadows to cease a bid for the primary calendar-year Grand Slam in additional than a half-century, made Djokovic the oldest male champion on the US Open within the Open period.
Djokovic’s fourth championship in New York, the place he was unable to compete a yr in the past as a result of he’s not vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19, goes alongside his 10 trophies from the Australian Open, seven from Wimbledon and three from the French Open, extending his lead on the boys’s Slam record.
Rafael Nadal, who has been sidelined since January with a hip drawback that required surgical procedure, is subsequent, with 22; Roger Federer, who introduced his retirement a yr in the past, completed with 20.
Pretty much as good as ever, Djokovic went 27-1 within the sport’s most prestigious occasions this season. The lone blemish was a loss to Carlos Alcaraz within the remaining at Wimbledon in July. Djokovic will rise to primary within the rankings on Monday, overtaking Alcaraz, who was the defending champion at Flushing Meadows however was eradicated by the quantity three, Medvedev.
Initially on Sunday, with the Arthur Ashe Stadium retractable roof shut due to rain within the forecast, Djokovic was comfy as will be. No signal of the event weighing on him, no hint of the stress he acknowledged briefly arose late in his semifinal in opposition to unseeded American Ben Shelton.
Whereas Djokovic and Medvedev are intriguing figures, neither has been totally embraced by the New York crowds.
Definitely, there was little of the electrical energy that crackled by Arthur Ashe throughout the girls’s remaining on Saturday, with no clear assist for both participant from an attentive however subdued viewers.
As anticipated in a contest that includes the game’s two premier hardcourt gamers, nearly each level was contested with lengthy rallies as each males pounded away at one another from the baseline.
Djokovic got here out enjoying with goal and utilized strain instantly, breaking the third seed on the first alternative on the best way to a 3-0 lead.
That may be the one break Djokovic would wish in opposition to a surprisingly flat Medvedev who couldn’t manufacture a single break likelihood within the first set.
Throughout a marathon one-hour and 44-minute lung-bursting second set, Medvedev would discover life forcing a tiring Djokovic into lengthy grinding level, after grinding level.
However the tireless Russian’s arduous work would pay no dividends, unable to transform any of his few break possibilities together with one at 6-5 that may have given him the set.
Medvedev charged in entrance 3-1 of the tie-break however once more couldn’t land the knockout blow as Djokovic got here off the ropes to take it 7-5, with a 2-0 lead.
If there’s one factor Djokovic possesses, it’s a killer intuition, and the Serb wasted no time breaking Medvedev to go up 3-1 within the third.
A defiant Medvedev answered together with his first and solely break of the match but it surely was not sufficient, with Djokovic hitting proper again with one other break after which holding serve the remainder of the best way to clinch the title.
A jubilant Djokovic shared his ideas.
“It clearly means the world to me [winning the US Open],” he mentioned. “I’m residing my childhood dream to compete on the highest stage within the sport. It has given me and my household a lot.”