The statistic that lasted for 52 years and that was threatened yesterday, finally did not suffer the expected shake in the Final of the United States Open.
Daniil Medvedev was in charge of leaving history intact in the face of the challenge that was pursuing Novak Djokovic, of completing the four Grand Slam of men’s tennis in the year.
The Serbian suffered a surprising defeat in three sets, falling far from an epic comeback as in previous finals.
Medvedev, world number two, beat a frustrated and unrecognizable Djokovic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 on center court at Flushing Meadows.
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Nole was left like this only with triumphs in three of the four big tournaments of 2021, without being able to complete the feat of the fourth, something the Australian achieved for the last time in a calendar year Rod Doing in 1969.
With this unexpected defeat, Djokovic also failed to beat Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal in the race for the most Grand Slam titles, all of them tied at 20.
The world number one was unable to overcome the pressure and anxiety of the moment, in front of a powerful rival hungry for his first Grand Slam title and with five hours less of play in his legs.
Seeing the most important game of his life slip away, Djokovic paid for his frustration by breaking a racket in the second set but, after the loss, he ended up recognizing and hugging Medvedev at the net.
The 34-year-old Serbian this year added 27 victories in a row in Grand tournaments Slam, which earned him to lift the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon.
Among the more than 20,000 spectators who turned out to witness the feat were also celebrities such as actors Brad Pitt and Bradley Cooper.
Djokovic’s last obstacle was Medvedev, a player who had lost his previous two Grand Slam finals, one of them to Djokovic at the Australian Open in three quick sets.
However, yesterday the Moscow tennis player took advantage of his spectacular service and concentration to ruin Djokovic’s feat.
Medvedev is the third Russian male tennis player to lift a Grand Slam title and the first since Marat Safin at the 2005 Australian Open.
By winning his last shot and settling the last point, Medvedev threw himself onto the court pretending to be a freshly caught fish, remembering that the US Open is the best catch of his career so far.
“I’m sorry for Novak”
Excited for his first Grand Slam trophy, Daniil Medvedev apologized for breaking the illusion of those who wanted to see Novak Djokovic crystallize a feat.
He praised the rival’s greatness during his speech at the award ceremony.
“First of all, I want to say I’m sorry for you fans and for Novak, because we all knew what was at stake,” Medvedev said.
“I have never said this to anyone, but I am going to say it now. For me you are the best in history ”.
The 25-year-old Russian’s counterpunching style is very similar to that of Djokovic, consistent from the bottom, deep returns and changes of pace to unhinge the opponent.
“If there is anyone who deserves a Grand Slam title right now, it is you,” Djokovic said. “Well done”.
Medvedev lost to Djokovic in the Australian Open final this year and also to Nadal in the definition of the 2019 US Open.
But he was not going to miss the opportunity to win his first victory.
That consecration in Melbourne in February was the beginning of the world’s number one attempt for an unusual feat.
The world number one fueled his ambition by taking the crown on French Open clay and Wimbledon turf.
Talk began at a golden Grand Slam, but Olympic singles gold at the Tokyo Games faded with a loss to Alexander Zverev.
He had the pure Slam left – going 4-4 in the majors in the same year, a dream that the young Russian broke yesterday
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