World No 2 Daniil Medvedev won his first major title with a stunning 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 victory against Novak Djokovic in the US Open final, which prevented the World No. 1 from completing the Grand Slam.
The Serbian star was trying to become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win all four majors in one season and break a tie with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the most major titles in history (20 each).
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But Medvedev played calm, patient tennis to become the third Russian man to earn Slam glory, joining Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Marat Safin.
A simply stunning performance from @DaniilMedwed pic.twitter.com/0sF1r2CiNg
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 12, 2021
Medvedev made his first major final two years ago at the US Open on the same court inside Arthur Ashe Stadium.
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On that occasion, the Russian suffered a heartbreaking five-set defeat against Nadal.
But this time, Medvedev controlled the match from the first game and earned the biggest win of his career after two hours and 15 minutes.
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“First of all I want to say sorry for you fans and Novak. We all know what he was going for today,” Medvedev said during the trophy ceremony.
“I’ve never said this anybody, but I will say it right now. For me, you are the greatest tennis player in history.”
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The 25-year-old double-faulted on his first championship point at 5-2 in the third set and lost serve for the first time in the match later in the game.
The crowd got raucous to urge Djokovic back into the match from there, and Medvedev double-faulted again on his next match point.
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But the 13-time tour-level titlist, who admitted to cramping at 5-3, successfully served out the match at the second time of asking, falling to the court after Djokovic missed a backhand return into the net.
“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,” Djokovic told the crowd.
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“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.”
Medvedev lost just one set en route to his US Open title. The Russian leads all players on the ATP Tour since 2018 in hard-court titles (12), finals (17) and wins (147).