US Open: Medvedev breaks Djokovic’s dream and finally writes his own story

Author of a perfect match, Daniil Medvedev won the US Open, beating 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 Novak Djokovic who did not bear the weight of history, thus failing to achieve the feat of a Grand Slam over one year, Sunday in New York.

The Russian N.2 world, after two lost finals, finally won his first Major tournament, preventing the Serbian from establishing a new record in the matter, since he remains blocked at 20 coronations, still tied with his eternal rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

At the gates of the greatest feat of the Open era, the world No. 1 fails, like the Swiss and the Spaniard before him, to enlarge the decidedly very closed club of the five champions to have won the Australian Open , Roland-Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open the same year.

Rod Laver, 83 years old and present in the stands of the Arthur Ashe court, remains the last to have achieved this performance on the men’s side. It was in 1968 for the second time concerning him (1962), after the American pioneer Don Budge in 1938. Among the ladies, we must go back first to Steffi Graf (1988), Margaret Court (1970) and Maureen Connoly ( 1953).

“If I get there, I’ll probably be somewhere in the history books as having been the one who didn’t let him,” Medvedev liked to stress ahead of the game.

– Obviously –

He was right. Especially since he did it in an exceptional way, leaving the match of his life and demonstrating that he had learned the different lessons of the two finals lost, in 2019 against Rafael Nadal after an epic fight, and in February this year, against Djokovic against whom he had missed.

His third attempt, marked by icy determination, was the right one. Because he was first imperial in service, often taking the risk – winning – to hit his second balls with the same power as his first. The Russian thus achieved a perfect first set on his engagement, with six aces in particular (16 in total).

He also shone with his ability to accelerate with forehands and always counter-attack at the best time. Virtually none of his choices turned out bad.

Serbian Novak Djokovic during the US Open final against Daniil Medvedev on September 12, 2021 at the US Open (AFP – Kena Betancur)

Opposite, he quickly appeared, as much through the gross errors of the Serbian as the manifest annoyance of which he was part, the pressure of the context having enough to liquefy any champion. Even him.

In the second set, Djokovic nevertheless had the opportunity to finally break. Three times in the first game. After failing, he slapped the racket several times on his right thigh and since it had not broken, he completely smashed it on the cement two games later, furious with it. still missed the opportunity, weighed down by yet another gross mistake. With a warning as a bonus.

– Fallen like a carp –

The Serbian, who had put his towel over his head during the previous change of sides, never knew how to get back into the match, as he always had the ability to do this year during the 27 Grand Slam victories leading him to this 28th game for glory.

Because Medvedev, past this brief threat, has never loosened the grip. He broke it immediately and continued to pressurize the world No. 1 to pocket the second set and go on with four games in a row in the third.

Russian Daniil Medvedev and Serbian Novak Djokovic at the US Open on September 21, 2021 in New York (AFP - Kena Betancur)
Russian Daniil Medvedev and Serbian Novak Djokovic at the US Open on September 21, 2021 in New York (AFP – Kena Betancur)

The amazement was immense on Arthur Ashe where, for once, the audience, determined to witness the story, was almost 100% behind him. The 23,000 or so spectators including Leonardo DiCaprio, Spike Lee and Joakim Noah woke up when he finally broke for the first time the Russian, who suddenly became feverish after double faulting on his first match point.

At the change of sides, Novak smiled, his hand on his heart. Warmed up, but basically already inconsolable.

Because opposite it was the Tsar the star. Despite another double fault on his second match point, he held on to the third, offered by a ball in the net from Djokovic.

Almost elsewhere during the nanoseconds that followed, Medvedev dropped like a carp on the court, receiving a standing ovation from the fans as oxygen. He deserved it because what he accomplished, no one had done this year.


Source: Challenges en temps réel : accueil by www.challenges.fr.

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