Daniil Medvedev has won the US Open 2021. In two hours and 15 minutes Medvedev defeated ambitious Serb Novak Djokovic in straight sets: 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. Medvedev is nine years younger than the 33 year old multiple Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic.
First Grand Slam for Daniil Medvedev
With his win, Medvedev has finally won his first Grand Slam tournament. Medvedev reached the Australian Open finals earlier in 2021 but lost to Novak Djokovic. Two years ago Medvedev also reached the finals of the US Open but lost in a thrilling five set match versus Spaniard Rafael Nadal.
Djokovic, one match short of Calendar Slam
Novak Djokovic had great ambitions for 2021 and he doesn’t go home empty handed either. Djokovic won the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon. His goal however was to win the Golden Slam which consists of the Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon, US Open and Olympic Gold. Something that hasn’t been done since Steffi Graf won it in 1988. So his ambitions incredibly high. However, Djokovic lost to Zverev at the Olympics in Tokyo and now to Medvedev.
Djokovic had the chance to become only the sixth person to win that rare Calendar Slam. Don Budge (1938), Maureen Connolly (1953), Rod Laver (1962 and 1969), Margaret Court (1970) and Steffi Graf (1988) went before him. Unfortunately for Djokovic, Medvedev played the match of his life. Wheelchair tennis players Diede de Groot and Dylan Alcott managed to get their Golden Slam. For wheelchair players the Golden Slam consists of all the Grand Slam tournaments + paralympic Gold.
Medvedev’s explosive start at the US Open 2021 finale
Daniil Medvedev’s win was not unexpected if you looked at the start he has had. He immediately broke Djokovic’ serve and managed to take advantage of Djokovic sloppiness but also forced his opponent into defense.
Djokovic never managed to break Medvedev’s serve and thus after 37 minutes Medvedev took the first set.
Djokovic got visibly frustrated after failing to cash in on two breakpoints in the second set and failed to do so again two games later. Medvedev held his composure at those crucial moments and cashed in on one of the breakpoints and took the second set.
Djokovic fights to hold back his tears
Medvedev only lost one set to Botic van de Zandschulp at the US Open 2021 managed to keep his serve in the third act of the match but didn’t shy away to show Djokovic who is king of the hill at the moment on the ATP Tour.
With the loss of the second set, Djokovic resistance appeared broken because Medvedev hit 4-0 at warpspeed. At 5-2 , the Russian got his first Matchpoint of the match but failed to cash it in due to a double fault and lost his service game.
During the changeover Djokovic fought to hold back his tears but in the ninth game after a few beautiful rallies, Medvedev cashed in on his third matchpoint and won the US Open 2021 which is also his first Grand Slam tournament title.
Medvedev apologizes to Djoker fans for taking away his dream
Medvedev showed true sportsmanship after he took the US Open title by apologizing to the fans for getting in the way of Djokovic’ ambitions of winning the Calendar Slam.
“I want to say sorry for you, the fans, and Novak because we all know what he was going for today,” he said on court after winning the championship. “Today maybe you were a little bit more for Novak, but it’s completely understandable.”
But before the match he also commented on the absence of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
“I don’t feel the change of the energy,” said Medvedev. “I don’t care if Roger or Rafa is here. I want to win the tournament. It’s going to be tougher if they were here, and of course it would be tougher if they would be 30 years old. But I just want to do my best, so I don’t care if they are here or not.”