It was third time lucky for Daniil Medvedev and the world No.2 is very much on top of the world. Playing in his third major final, and on his third match point and celebrating his third wedding anniversary, he became the US Open champion for the first time. In a wonderfully controlled performance, he defeated Novak Djokovic and ended his dream of winning the Grand Slam.
It was all down to this last match. It was the 28th match at the majors Djokovic was playing and if he was to win, he would have emulated the great Rod Laver the last man to win the Grand Slam, back in 1969. But Daniil had other ideas and from the first game of the match he had Djokovic under pressure by breaking serve.
In two hours 15 minutes Medvedev defeated Djokovic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. He became the first Russian man since Marat Safin in 2000 to win the US Open and this being his first major title made it even more special.
“Everything that happens for the first time is special,” Medvedev said. “When I won my first junior tournament, it meant a lot to me. When I won my first future, I was happy. I think when you repeat something, there is a little bit different emotions unless you make history.
“You never know if you're going to achieve it in your career. Again, I was always saying, If I don't, I just want to know that I did my best to do it. Now it's a bit, I don't know if euphoric is a good word, but a lot of happiness. That's my first Grand Slam. I don't know how I'm going to feel if I win a second one or third one. That's my first one, so I'm really happy. Means a lot to me.”
Novak was understandably shattered. This was regarded as the most important match of the 1176 matches he had played in his career. No one had been so close to winning the Grand Slam. During he third set with the crowd roaring their support of hi, there was a very rare sight to be seen. Nole started getting emotional and before long he was sobbing into his towel. He was trying to hide it but that was impossible.
“So many different emotions. Of course, part of me is very sad. It's a tough one to swallow, this loss, I mean, 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,” Djokovic said. “They pleasantly surprised me. I did not know, I did not expect anything, but the amount of support and energy and love I got from the crowd was something that I'll remember forever.
“I mean, that's the reason on the changeover I just teared up. The emotion, the energy was so strong. I mean, it's as strong as winning 21 Grand Slams. That's how I felt, honestly. I felt very, very special. They touched my heart, honestly. Of course, in the end of the day you want to win. You're a professional athlete. These are the kind of moments that you cherish. These are connections that you establish with people that will be lasting for a very long time. Yeah, it was just wonderful.”
Medvedev’s serve was a big factor in the final and he also said he had learned much from past experiences like the US Open final two years ago against Rafa Nadal and this year’s Australian Open final against Djokovic.
“I do feel sorry for Novak because I cannot imagine what he feels,” Medvedev said. “I don't know this feeling. It definitely makes it sweeter. I mean, a Grand Slam is a Grand Slam. I would win it against Botic in the final, probably I would be same happy.
“For the confidence and for my future career, knowing that I beat somebody who was 27-0 in a year in Grand Slams, I lost to him in Australia, he was going for huge history, and knowing that I managed to stop him, it definitely makes it sweeter and brings me confidence for what is to come on hard courts so far, but let's see about other surfaces.”
The men’s doubles title went to Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury, they defeated Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares.