Serb Novak Djokovic lost all three sets to Russia’s Daniil Medvedev in the US Open final on Sunday. By losing the match, Djokovic missed his chance to secure his 21st major title that would have completed a record calendar-year Grand Slam.
Djokovic was just one step away from becoming the first man in over a half-century to clinch victory in all four majors — Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, US.Open — in the same year. The last man to achieve this was Australian Rod Laver in 1969.
However, the Serb lost 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to first-time major champion Medvedev at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York.
After the defeat, a teary-eyed Djokovic said he felt relief and sadness.
“I was glad it was over,” he said, describing his feelings in the moments after the loss.
“The buildup for this tournament and everything that mentally, emotionally I had to deal with throughout the tournament in the last couple of weeks was just a lot. It was a lot to handle,” Djokovic said.
World number one Djokovic was also left in a dead heat with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer on the men’s record 20 Slam trophies as he fell short of winning his fourth US Open title.
“So many different emotions,” Djokovic said. “Part of me is very sad. It’s a tough one to swallow, this loss, considering everything that was on the line.”
“But on the other hand I felt something I never felt in my life here in New York. The crowd made me very special,” added the 34-year-old, after thousands of spectators had tried to cheer him by chanting his nickname, “No-le! No-le! No-le!”
US Open winner Medvedev, who lost this year’s Australian Open to Djokovic and the 2019 US Open final to Nadal, apologized to Djokovic’s fans.
“First of all, I want to say sorry for you fans and Novak, because, I mean, we all know what he was going for today,” the world number two said.
The 25-year-old then turned towards the Serb and praised him for “what you accomplished this year and throughout your career.”
“I never said this to anybody, but I’ll say it right now. For me, you are the greatest tennis player in history,” Medvedev said. – AFP, Reuters.