Novak Djokovic has history on his mind and standing in front of everyone when it come to the great records in tennis and at the US Open he has continued on that journey. Novak won the US Open for the fourth time and he was playing the final for the tenth time which equalled the record set by American Bill Tilden in the 1920's
On top of that, the victory was Djokovic's 24th career major and the history behind that is truly significant. He has equalled the all-time record held by the great Margaret Court. Many players had tried to match her achievement - Stefanie Graf, Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Rafa Nadal, but none did. It has now set up Djokovic to pass that record and stand alone.
Novak said he had worked to put such records out of his mind as they could be a distraction. In 2021 he was a match away from winning the calendar Grand Slam but lost the final at the US Open to Daniil Medvedev. This time Novak turned the table and defeated Medvedev in three hours 17 minutes 6-3, 7-6, 6-3.
"It was a big battle, I think, within, in the last 24 hours to really just, you know, keep things simple and clear and prepare for this match in a right way, which I think I have done," Djokovic said. "I started match really well. I'll just keep talking, because I guess these questions are related to this.
"What probably made the difference and the key of the match was second set, almost two hours. I don't think I have ever played a longer set in my life, particularly not on this occasion against a top player like Daniil.
"Yeah, I think he was probably a better player in the second set. He deserved to win that set more than I did. Somehow, I managed to turn things around in the tiebreak. When it mattered, I put one ball into play more than he did. And that was enough."
Both said the second set was important. Novak had started like a steam train breaking serve in the second game and kept that advantage, but he seemed to drop a bit in the second set while Daniil lifted and had a set point. But Djokovic managed to just save it while Medvedev said he made with wrong choice with his shot.
âOh, regrets, for sure. Should have won it," Medvedev said. "Should have won it, but sometimes tennis not that easy. Passing for sure down the line, not cross, but I have two choices and I chose the wrong one.
"In general, yeah, second set was the best set I played and I didn't win it. So that's why I kind of, I would say, it's normal that the match went that way, because first and third he was kind of better and not much to say. Second if I would win it maybe could have been a different game.
"I don't know if I would analyse it. Again, when we play next time, it's going to be different story. I'm not even sure there is anything much to analyse. Yeah, that's how life is and tennis is. So, I'm going to try to be better next time."
The win made Djokovic the oldest man in the Open-era to win this title outdoing the legendary Ken Rosewall from 1970.
"Relief mostly (when the match was over)," Djokovic said. "I didn't celebrate maybe as I did in Roland Garros or didn't fall to the floor or jump out of joy. I just, I was so relieved when I saw his forehand in the net. Out of respect, I wanted to go quicker to the net to shake hands and exchange words.
"I was probably not thinking so intensely and concretely about the history of the weeks at No. 1 or most slams until maybe three years ago. Then I realized, okay, I'm quite close for weeks in No. 1. I also have a pretty good chance at the Grand Slams if I keep healthy and if I'm playing well.
"Of course, the slams at that point seemed a little bit less reachable than weeks of No. 1, but I believed. I believed that I'll make it. I don't put any number right now in my mind on how many slams I want to win until the end of my career. I don't really have any number."
The doubles title was won for the third year in a row, a record, by Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury over Rohan Bopanna and Matt Ebden 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.