Second seeded Russia’s Danill Medvedev (25), won his first Grand Slam title by beating Novak Djokovic’s hopes of completing a calendar sweep of his majors in a one-sided US Open final. Medvedev, who had lost his two previous Grand Slam finals was improved and composed throughout a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 win. Djokovic who was bidding to become just the sixth player to win a calendar Slam and the first man to do it since Rod Laver in 1959, had already won the Australian Open, French Open, and Wimbledon titles this year, as victory would have moved him clear of rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the battle to finish with the most men’s majors.
Burdened by the weight of history, and intense pressure, Djokovic looked subdued throughout as he made several uncharacteristic errors, well short of his usual physical capabilities and also became tearful towards the end, proving he is human after all.
The Russian, on the other hand played smartly and confidently, drawing the errors out of his opponent with strong serving, dominating his opponent from the baseline and finishing points with precise winners, and avenged his defeat in February by Djokovic at the Australian Open final. Medvedev was firing down his serves with pace and precision and even the best returner in the men’s game had no answers. Medvedev only allowed Djokovic to win three receiving points in the opening set, wining 100 pe cent of his first-serve points as Djokovic only made just 27 per cent of his returns. Djokovic had lost his first set in his previous four matches and had five break opportunities at the start of the second set, which Medvedev rallied to hold both times, leaving Djokovic slapping his thighs in annoyance.
The Russian broke for 3-2 enough to take the second set and then raced to 4-0 ahead in the third before clinching victory after his brief wobble.
However, there was a slight wobble as he tried to serve out for the title with three double faults which helped Djokovic nick back a break for 5-3 before Medvedev composed himself to take his third championship point.
Medvedev, who dropped only one set in the tournament said “ I want to thank my team, those who are here and watching – my parent, my family, my sisters, and some of my friends. Thank you guys because it is not an easy journey to win a Slam. I’m really thankful to you for helping me throughout this journey. If there is anyone who deserves a Grand Slam title right now, is you (Djokovic). Well done. There will be many more titles to come, I’m sure.”
Medvedev was third time lucky, as two years ago his emotional defeat at the singles final in New York, which he eventually lost to Nadal in an epic five setter, after an exhilarating fightback from two sets down.
While losing Djokovic ironically got a rousing reception from a New York crowd with whom he has not always had the warmest of relationships. Djokovic said earlier in the fortnight that he now had a better idea how Serena Williams felt when she fell two matches short of the Grand Slam in 2015. The emotional demands of the challenge, fatigue carried over from earlier rounds and earlier months, and magnificence of Danill Medvedev proved too much.