Looking for Novak Djokovic for a record 21 Grand Slam tournament titles, which would have completed winning all four of the top tennis tournaments in the same season, came to an end at the final hurdle, following a surprise 6-4 US Open final defeat, 6-4 and 6-4 for Russian Daniil Medvedev not sunday.
In his third Grand Slam final, Medvedev finally claimed the trophy at one of the sport’s top tournaments by avenging his straight set loss to Djokovic in this year’s Australian Open final.
The 34-year-old Serb was trying to become the first man in more than half a century to win the four tournaments that make up the Grand Slam — Australia Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open — in the same year.
Had he succeeded, he would have been only the third man to accomplish the feat, after Don Budge in 1938 and Rod Laver in 1962 and 1969. Laver watched Sunday’s final in New York.
“It’s a hard defeat to swallow considering all that was at stake,” Djokovic said. “I’m glad it’s over because the preparation for this tournament and everything I’ve had to deal with mentally, emotionally, throughout the tournament and the past two weeks, was awesome.”
“It was a lot to deal with,” he said.
Medvedev, 25, said he started feeling his left leg towards the end of the third set and he believes that if the game had lengthened, there would have been more drama. He said he was concerned that Djokovic might recover if he noticed any signs of his vulnerability.
“When I was 5-4, my left leg, I almost couldn’t walk,” said the Russian. “When I walked towards the towel, my leg was left behind.”
“I tried not to show it. If Novak had noticed, it wouldn’t be good,” he said.