Despite being roared on by a raucous Flushing Meadows crowd, Novak Djokovic was hiding his tears by covering his face with a towel during a changeover in the third set. The fact was settling in on Djokovic that he would fall short of making history in this year’s U.S. Open. It was Daniil Medvedev who came out victorious in the men’s singles final on Sunday, battling through boos from the Arthur Ashe Stadium audience to crush Djokovic’s dreams of a record 21st Grand Slam title.
For 27 Grand Slam matches in 2021, Djokovic could not be stopped no matter the opponent in front of him. Just needing one more win to complete a season sweep, Djokovic fell short. He was outplayed by Medvedev, who has a similar playing style to Djokovic, in three straight sets, losing 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to first-time major champion Medvedev. It was an emotional moment for the tennis vet as he was tearful in the closing moments of the special game.
Speaking of the moment, Djokovic said, “I was just glad that, finally, the run is over. At the same time, I felt sadness, disappointment- and also gratitude for the crowd and for that moment that they’ve created for me on the court.”
For Medvedev, this was a huge win as he was beaten by Djokovic back in the final of the Australian Open back in February. “I was not playing my best but he destroyed me in Australia; I was not feeling good afterwards, confidence went down a little bit,” Medvedev said to CNN.
“I’m just really happy that I managed to give my best today. I managed to win against one of the greatest of all time in straight sets in a match that meant everything to him… that’s special.”
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