Daniil Medvedev beats the man he considers to be the best ever in tennis by almost two hours
Then the service of Medvedev and his body began to falter. He made a double fault on his first match point. He did the same in his next match, trying to end Djokovic’s quest for a calendar-year Grand Slam.
“The other was like in the middle of the net,” said Medvedev.
After all, he overcame the pressure and his rival, beating Djokovic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 at the US Open on Sunday for his maiden Grand Slam title.
Medvedev’s coach, Gilles Cervara, said: “After the final in Australia, we felt that Daniel didn’t have the fire that could help make your game stronger, especially against a player like Novak.” “So that had to change, of course, to play this final at another level.
“Yesterday and today we had a feeling that he was ready to compete and stay at a higher standard.”
The Russians have been there for some time, especially on hard courts. He leads all-male players in wins and titles on that surface since 2018 and reached the US Open semifinals in the last three years.
At his best, he’s as good as anyone on the hard court – and better than Djokovic on Sunday.
“I mean, he was hitting his spot pretty well,” Djokovic said. “He turned out to be very determined on the court. You can feel that he was at the highest level of his abilities in every shot.
Especially on his service, which Cervara felt was not enough this summer. Medvedev had 16 aces and continued to put pressure on Djokovic with his serve, scoring 42 of 52 on the first serve.
“He did a great service today,” Serwara said. “Maybe not in the end, but with the pressure, the tension, it’s a little different.”
Medvedev took a long break between serves and on his first match point, waiting for the noise of some fans to lead 5-3. He didn’t think the crowd was trying to harass him, he felt the fans wanted Djokovic to prolong the match.
The No. 1 player did, then held on to cut him 5-4.
“My legs were gone after 5-3. At 5-4, left foot, I almost couldn’t walk,” said Medvedev. “If you really look at Ripley, when I went to the towel, my leg was going backwards. I was trying not to show it. If Novak feels that way, it’s not cool.”
The next match point produced another sloppy serve before Medvedev hit one at 129 mph that Djokovic could not return to the game.
Medvedev then fell slowly and awkwardly towards the court, explaining that the move was a nod to a goal celebration in a soccer video game.
His real celebration was yet to come.
“The Russians know how to celebrate,” said Medvedev. “Hopefully, I won’t be in the news. If I (do), it’s going to happen in a good way. But I’m definitely going to celebrate the next few days.”
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