Daniil Medvedev stuns erratic Novak Djokovic to win US Open and deny world No 1 Calendar Grand Slam
Daniil Medvedev has joined the Grand Slam winners’ circle after shocking Novak Djokovic in the US Open final with his victory denying the world No 1 not only a Calendar Grand Slam, but also the chance to claim the outright record for most majors won by a male player.
Having already won the Australian Open – where he beat Medvedev in the final – the French Open and Wimbledon, Djokovic started the final at Arthur Ashe Stadium as the overwhelming favourite.
The world No 1 also had the extra incentives of the historic Calendar Grand Slam and a 21st major, which would have seen him move past his great rivals Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.
But Medvedev produced one of the calmest displays ever in the final of the major and, together with an erratic display from the Serbian, he brushed aside the top seed 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in two hours and 16 minutes.
A simply stunning performance from @DaniilMedwed pic.twitter.com/0sF1r2CiNg
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 12, 2021
Djokovic made a nervous, error strewn start as he was broken in the first game of the match with Medvedev winning the longer rallies. After holding, the Russian had a chance to go 3-0 up as he had a couple of break points, but this time the world No 1 managed to dig himself out of a hole.
Medvedev’s own service games were rapid and clean as he held for six consecutive games to win the 36-minute set, which meant for the fifth match in a row Djokovic dropped the opening set.
No. 2 @DaniilMedwed wins 1st set vs No. 1 @DjokerNole 6-4 in #USOpen final.
Djokovic is 10-0 at Grand Slams in 2021 after losing 1st set, including 4 straight wins at @USOpen.
He bids to become 1st man in history to lose five 1st sets en route to Grand Slam title (since 1877).
— ATP Media Info (@ATPMediaInfo) September 12, 2021
Djokovic made a stronger start to the second set as won the opener to love and then found himself 0-40 on the Medvedev serve, but he squandered a couple of break points and before he knew it it was 1-1.
He again struggled to find any rhythm in game three as he was once again forced to work to hold serve before eking out a few break points on the Medvedev serve. However, he failed to convert and obliterated his racket – which resulted in a code violation warning – before the Russian drew level.
Djokovic just demolished his racket #USOpen pic.twitter.com/dkKLLAG8dS
— Eric Hubbs (@BarstoolHubbs) September 12, 2021
The frustrations got to him as he dropped serve in the next game and, with Medvedev continuing to be impressive on his serve, it was another 6-4 set in the bag for the Russian.
Djokovic, who has spent 17 hours and 26 minutes on court at the US Open compared to Medvedev’s 11 hours and 51 minutes, knew he had to go the distance again, but he did win the French Open final after coming from two sets to love down against Stefanos Tsitsipas.
But Medvedev was relentless as he tightened the screws further by coming from 30-0 down in the first game to start the third set with a break.
There was some fight from Djokovic in game two, but the Russian backed up the break by holding and then got an insurance policy as he broke again to take an astonishing 3-0 lead, which soon turned into 4-0.
The world No 1 finally got on the scoreboard with a service hold, but there didn’t appear to be any fight left in the Serbian. Medvedev, who lost the 2019 US Open final against Rafael Nadal, then produced a solid service game before Djokovic made it 5-2.
And so the Russian came out to serve for the match, but there was a bit of extra drama as the Russian made a couple of double faults – including one on match point – with Djokovic going on to break for the first time in the match before holding to make it 5-4.
There was a fist pump and a smile from Djokovic before sitting down and crying in his towel during the changeover.
Medvedev came out to serve for the title for a second time and this he made no mistake as he served it out to win his maiden Grand Slam, becoming the third Russian after Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Marat Safin to win a major.
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