Novak Djokovic gained the U.S. Open males’s remaining Sunday, giving him the most males’s Grand Slam titles and cementing his place as one of many sport’s biggest gamers.
At 36, round retirement age within the sport, Djokovic is the oldest man to win the match.
On Sunday afternoon, on the Billie Jean King Nationwide Tennis Heart in New York, he offered a grasp class on successful, his physique by no means faltering, his resolve ice chilly.
The numbers of the Serbian’s straight-sets win over 27-year-old Daniil Medvedev — 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 — might betray the character of the ultimate, an unwavering, point-by-point battle between the very best.
The youthful participant was removed from steamrolled, however there have been moments when it could have appeared as if the Russian had the older physique of the 2, his legs chilly and quick a step. He known as a coach out at one level within the match.
Nevertheless it was, above all, Djokovic’s calm and focus that prevailed throughout key factors at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The second-set tie break was a wrestling match neither would concede, with Medvedev showing to vary the momentum by successful a rally of mid-court half-volleys and drop pictures to go up 5-4 within the tiebreaker.
Certainly, the Russian tried to deliver the sport to Djokovic, difficult him on the web, however Djokovic responded with generally excellent strokes, in the end taking the tiebreaker and set, and setting himself up for the straight-sets win.
The third and remaining set was practically all Djokovic highlights. Even when he misplaced some extent, Djokovic had the gang roaring. Up 5-2, he carried out the near-splits diving for a ball unsuccessfully after transferring Medvedev across the court docket at will with shotgun forehands.
Medvedev dumped a ball into the online to finish his problem, and Djokovic hit the bottom, his head down in grace and maybe in disbelief.
The win might have been redemption for the champion, who misplaced to Medvedev within the 2021 U.S. Open remaining.
That 12 months, the Russian thwarted Djokovic’s try and take all 4 main championships in a calendar 12 months, a uncommon feat final completed in males’s open competitors by Rod Laver in 1969.
The Serbian’s win on Sunday earned him one other 12 months that was simply wanting a Grand Slam. In July, he misplaced an epic, five-set remaining to Carlos Alcaraz, 20, on Wimbledon’s ryegrass.
On Friday, Djokovic dispatched American Blake Shelton in straight units.
The final American to win a singles title at Flushing Meadows, the Queens metropolis park that is been the house of the U.S. Tennis Affiliation match since 1978, was Andy Roddick in 2003.
Following the match, the winner placed on a “Mamba Without end” T-shirt that encompasses a photograph of the late NBA participant Kobe Bryant and himself. His Lacoste jacket was adorned with the quantity 24, which was Bryant’s quantity throughout his later years with the Lakers.
It additionally represents these large titles underneath Djokovic’s belt. He mentioned he got here up with the thought of “24”-themed attire days in the past, through the match, at some extent at which he thought he would possibly win.
Djokovic mentioned he informed his operation he would put on the 24 attire if he gained — to acknowledge Bryant’s friendship and counsel.
Bryant, he mentioned, boosted his spirits and helped mount a comeback after damage years in the past. Talking to the gang, Djokovic defined that his drive began with a childhood dream.
“I wished to develop into the very best participant on the planet,” he mentioned. “That was the one factor that I wished.”