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Novak Djokovic Defeats Daniil Medvedev to Win the US Open and His 24th Grand Slam or Major Championship Win



Novak Djokovic Defeats Daniil Medvedev to Win the US Open and His 24th Grand Slam or Major Championship Win

Daniil Medvedev was defeated 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3 by Novak Djokovic on Sunday to win the US Open and win his 24th major championship, tying Margaret Court for the most Grand Slam singles titles in tennis history.

Novak Djokovic, who already topped the list of men’s Slams, passed Serena Williams by one major singles championship to become the first player to earn 24 major singles titles during the Open era. A total of 24 were also collected by the Court, but 13 of those were done so before professionals were permitted to compete in Slam events.

“To make history [in] this sport is just something truly remarkable and special, obviously, in every possible way, in every possible meaning of the word,” the second-seeded Novak Djokovic said on the court following the win. “It’s hard to describe the words.”

When addressing reporters Sunday night, Goran Ivanisevic, his coach, didn’t have the same trouble articulating what he thought the achievement signified.

“He’s a genius,” Ivanisevic said. “He’s one of a kind. Not too many people in this world like him, sportwise.

“This is one of the biggest achievements in sports history. We’re not talking about tennis. We are talking generally in sport.”

With 24 titles in 72 major appearances, Novak Djokovic has now won championships at precisely one-third of the majors he has participated in. In exactly half (36) of the Slams in which he has experienced, he has advanced to the final.

“I never imagined that I would be here standing with you talking about 24 Slams. I never thought that would be the reality,” said Novak Djokovic, a 36-year-old from Serbia who became the tournament’s oldest male champion in the Open era, which dates to 1968. “But the last couple of years, I felt I have a chance, I have a shot for history, and why not grab it if it’s presented?”

Novak Djokovic joined Roger Federer as the only men’s player with four or more major championship victories after winning his fourth victory at Flushing Meadows.

“It obviously means the world to me,” said Djokovic, who will return to No. 1 in the rankings on Monday. It will mark his 390th week at No. 1, the most by any player in ATP or WTA rankings history.

Novak Djokovic received a standing ovation from the enthusiastic audience at the end of the match, which was played under the cover at Arthur Ashe Stadium owing to rain earlier in the day, The capacity crowd, which included a lengthy list of A-list celebrities.

After the 3-hour, the 16-minute match was complete, he grieved openly while lying on the court before making his way to his box, which was occupied by his family, his team, and actor Matthew McConaughey.

Djokovic soon wore a blue T-shirt with the words “Mamba Forever,” paying homage to the late NBA player Kobe Bryant. An image of Bryant and Djokovic featured on the front, and the No. 24, one of two numbers Bryant wore during his Hall of Fame career, was printed in purple on the back.

Novak Djokovic said that he came up with the concept for a tribute to his friend approximately a week ago. He said that Bryant, who died in 2020 in a helicopter crash that also took the lives of his daughter Gianna and seven other people, gave him employment advice.

“Kobe was a close friend. We chatted a lot about the winner’s mentality when I was struggling with injury and trying to make my comeback, work my way back to the top of the game,” Novak Djokovic said. “He was one of the people that I relied on the most.”

“He was always there for any kind of counsel, advice, any kind of support in the most friendly way,” he continued. “So of course what happened a few years ago and him and his daughter passing hurt me deeply, and I thought 24 is the jersey he wore when he became a legend of the Lakers and world basketball, so I thought it could be a nice, symbolic thing to acknowledge him for all the things he’s done.”

In addition to his victories at the Australian Open in January and the French Open in June, Djokovic advanced to the finals of all four major tournaments for the third time in his career. Carlos Alcaraz, who Djokovic will surpass at No. 1 this week, defeated him in the Wimbledon championship game. The No. 3 seed Medvedev defeated defending Flushing Meadows winner Alcaraz in the semifinals.

Novak Djokovic’s lack of a COVID-19 vaccination prevented him from competing in New York a year ago. He was defeated by Medvedev in the 2021 championship match two years ago, depriving Djokovic of the opportunity to win the first calendar-year Grand Slam in men’s tennis since 1969.

There were numerous concerns about how Djokovic would perform at the year’s final major after early exits in 2020 and 2019. Djokovic was seldom ever put to the test, except a third-round comeback against fellow Serbian player Laslo Djere that required five sets. The rest of the way, he didn’t drop a set.

In his fifth Grand Slam final, Medvedev finished 1-4, after two defeats against Novak Djokovic and two to Rafael Nadal. The 2021 US Open was the site of Medvedev’s lone significant triumph.

Novak Djokovic was in charge on Sunday despite needing to stretch his legs numerous times and having a few noticeable moments of exhaustion. With a 3-0 advantage after the first 16 points of the game, he won 12 of them while dominating nearly every statistical category. Despite winning in straight sets, Djokovic had to persevere through several extended rallies, including one that lasted 37 shots and the grueling second set that lasted 1 hour, and 44 minutes.

“I don’t think I have ever played a longer set in my life, particularly not on this occasion against a top player like Daniil,” Novak Djokovic said. “I think he was probably a better player in the second set. He deserved to win that set more than I did. Somehow, I managed to turn things around in the tiebreak. When it mattered, I put one ball into play more than he did. And that was enough.”

Djokovic said that he was able to recoup some of his stamina during the break after making it through the second set tiebreak. He left little room for error in the third set, and Medvedev’s tenacity seemed to be significantly lessened. In the final set, Djokovic required just 44 minutes.

Djokovic said he immediately felt “relief, mostly” after his Russian opponent’s forehand into the net during the final point and then eventually allowed himself to enjoy what he had accomplished.

“I really did my best in the last 48 hours not to allow the importance of the moment and what’s on the line get to my head, because two years ago [in 2021 final] that’s what happened, and I underperformed and I wasn’t able to be at my best and I was outplayed,” Novak Djokovic said. “So I learned my lesson. My team, my family knew that in the last 24 hours, don’t touch me, don’t speak to me about, you know, the history of what’s on the line.

“I really did my best to keep things quite simple and stick to the routines that brought me to where I am and treat this match really as any other match where I just need to win.”

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