This is the maiden Grand Slam title for the Russian star.
Daniil Medvedev won his first Grand Slam title by shattering Novak Djokovic’s hopes of a calendar Grand Slam in a one-sided US Open final. Second Medvedev had lost his two previous Grand Slam finals, but was composed throughout a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 victory.
Djokovic was bidding to become just the sixth player to win a calendar slam and the first man to do it since Rod Laver in 1969. Perhaps burdened by the weight of history, Djokovic looked subdued throughout the US Open final. He made a high number of uncharacteristic errors and also became tearful towards the end.
The Russian played smartly and confidently, drawing errors out of his opponent with strong serving. Medvedev dominated Djokovic from the baseline and finished points with precise winners. There was a slight wobble as he tried to serve for the title. Three double faults helped Djokovic nick back a break for 5-3. However, Medvedev composed himself to take the championship point.
Third time lucky for Medvedev
Two years ago, Medvedev was an emotional figure after the men’s singles final of the US Open. It was the Russian’s first Grand Slam final and after an exhilarating fightback from two sets down, he eventually lost an epic five-setter to Rafael Nadal. In Melbourne, in his second attempt, Medvedev couldn’t handle the intense pressure from Djokovic and his game broke down. This time, it was a complete role reversal.
Medvedev broke in the first game of the match and while Djokovic settled down in his service games in the rest of the set, the problem was he could make no impact on the Russian’s serve. Truth be told, the Serb looked way short of his usual physical capabilities at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
World No. 1 Djokovic had already won the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon titles this year. The 34-year-old was chasing a record 21st Grand Slam men’s singles title. Victory would have moved him clear of rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the battle to finish with the most men’s majors, but it was the potential calendar Grand Slam that Djokovic had said would be the “greatest achievement” of his career. He will now have to wait until at least next year’s Australian Open to overtake his two great rivals.