Daniil Medvedev after winning the 2021 US Open title
Daniil Medvedev after winning the 2021 US Open title | (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Tennis | US Open 2021 | ‘Happy’ Medvedev ends Djokovic’s calendar grand slam dreams to win maiden grand slam in New York

  • Daniil Medvedev [2] def Novak Djokovic [1] 6-4 6-4 6-4
  • Medvedev wins his maiden grand slam in his third final as he ends Djokovic’s dreams of a calendar grand slam.
NEW YORK, USA – Daniil Medvedev won his first grand slam title after ending Novak Djokovic’s calendar grand slam dreams in straight sets in the US Open final.


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Daniil Medvedev [2] def Novak Djokovic [1] 6-4 6-4 6-4

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Daniil Medvedev is finally a grand slam champion after ending Novak Djokovic’s calendar grand slam hopes in a convincing straight sets victory. The Russian got off to the perfect start in front of a surprisingly pro-Djokovic crowd as he broke in the opening game from 40-15 down. A flat start from the Serb continued as he was forced to save two break points to prevent a double break deficit and win his first game of the match.

There was no threat from Djokovic who was trying to get his legs going and start extending the rallies. Medvedev was serving two first serves at the world number one, who really had no chance to get rhythm on return. Eight first set aces helped the Russian on his way to a comfortable opening set in 37 minutes.

The second set was a much better intensity and level from Djokovic who looked to achieve the same things as the last four matches and come back from a set down to win the match. The 20-time grand slam champion created five break points in his opening two return games but couldn’t convert any of them as he missed some routine shots and returns. That was followed up by destruction of the racket as his frustration finally boiled over.

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However there was no such frustration for Medvedev who continued to produce world class shots and depth as he made Djokovic pay for his missed opportunities to break in the fifth game for a 3-2 lead. There was no stopping the Russian from there as his phenomenal court coverage and decision-making mixed with Djokovic’s inability to test the Russian in long rallies saw Medvedev take a two set to love lead.

It was obvious that the pressure of the occasion and fatigue from previous matches had costed the world number one as he was running on a reserved tank. Meanwhile Medvedev continued to play world-class tennis as he quickly established a double break lead.

However the world number two was to encounter a fresh obstacle in the form of the New York crowd who proceeded to boo the Russian who was serving for the match. This caught Medvedev off guard who lost one of his breaks of serve when serving for the match at 5-2. Djokovic got the match back to 5-4 and that’s when he was overwhelmed by the occasion and floods of tears appeared.

The temperamental New York crowd did their best to put off the Russian once more but it was Medvedev who laid down one last big serve to seal his first grand slam title and prevent Djokovic from achieving the calendar grand slam.


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‘Happy’ Medvedev embraces the moment, Djokovic praises ‘determined’ Medvedev and crowd

After the match Medvedev embraced the moment and admitted the victory meant a lot to him:

“You never know if you’re going to achieve [winning a major] in your career. I was always saying if I don’t, I just want to know that I did my best to do it,” Medvedev was quoted by the US Open website as saying.

“That’s my first Grand Slam. I don’t know how I’m going to feel if I win a second one or third one. That’s my first one, so I’m really happy. Means a lot to me. It was definitely tough. [I] cannot say [it any] other way. I knew that the only thing I can do is focus. [You] never know what would happen if it would be 5-All, if I would start to get crazy or whatever. It didn’t happen, so again we cannot talk about it. I knew I have to focus on myself, on what I had to do to win the match.

“For the confidence and for my future career, knowing that I beat somebody who was 27-0 in a year in Grand Slams, I lost to him in Australia, he was going for huge history, and knowing that I managed to stop him it definitely makes it sweeter and brings me confidence for what is to come.”

As for Djokovic, it’s the second time in his career that he has missed out on winning the calendar grand slam. After the match an emotional world number one praised a ‘determined’ Daniil Medvedev and was taken aback by the reaction of the crowd:

“He came out very determined on the court,” Djokovic was quoted as saying by the US Open Wewsite.

“You could feel that he was just at highest of his abilities in every shot. He had a lot of clarity what he needs to do tactically. He has executed it perfectly. I would like to say that tonight, even though I have not won the match, my heart is filled with joy and I’m the happiest man alive because you guys made me feel very special.

“You guys touched my soul. I’ve never felt like this in New York… I love you guys. Thank you so much for the support and everything you have done tonight for me. I love you and I’ll see you soon.”

Djokovic is still tied with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on 20 grand slams and will now head to the Australian Open in January in a bid to overtake them.

As for Medvedev he will look to continue the momentum into the rest of the season as him and Djokovic are scheduled to play in Indian Wells which starts on the 7th of October.


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