U.S. Open: Daniil Medvedev stuns Novak Djokovic to capture first Grand Slam title

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Daniil Medvedev, of Russia, right, and Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, pose for photos after Medvedev defeated Djokovic in the men’s singles final of the US Open tennis championships, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Second seed Daniil Medvedev of Russia produced a stunning performance to defeat world number one and top seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia in straight sets on Sunday to win the men’s U.S. Open title.

Medvedev, a losing finalist at Flushing Meadows in 2019, won 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in just over two hours to win his first Grand Slam and crush his opponent’s hopes of achieving a calendar Grand Slam and a record 21st major.

Daniil Medvedev, of Russia, right, and Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, pose for photos after Medvedev defeated Djokovic in the men’s singles final of the US Open tennis championships in New York. /CFP

The big-serving Russian fired 16 aces and 38 winners while managing to convert four of eight break points compared to Djokovic who managed just six aces, 27 winners and only converted a solitary break point out of a possible six.

Medvedev took the first and second sets 6-4, 6-4 with a break of serve in each set after which Djokovic dropped serve twice in the third set to fall 3-0 down. This was the fifth consecutive match at the U.S. Open that Djokovic had lost the opening set.

The Serbian, however, has gained a notorious reputation for mounting strong comebacks in the best-of-five matches and appeared to follow that script when he saved a match point to reduce the deficit to 5-3. He then won his next service game to pull within one game of Medvedev at 5-4.

However, it was not to be for Djokovic as Medvedev converted his third match point in the tenth game to seal the third set 6-4 and confirm his name among the game’s major winners.

It was Medvedev’s third Grand Slam final after defeats to Rafael Nadal in this tournament in 2019 and Djokovic at the Australian Open in February this year.

The 25-year-old joins Yevgeny Kafelnikov (1996 French Open and 1999 Australian Open) and Marat Safin (2000 U.S. Open and 2005 Australian Open) as male Grand Slam winners from Russia.

As for Djokovic, defeat capped off a disappointing couple of months which saw him fail to add Olympic gold in his quest for a Golden Slam. Despite going into the Olympics as the overwhelming favourite, Djokovic did not even win a medal after Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta defeated him in the bronze medal match after which Djokovic withdrew from the mixed doubles bronze match due to injury.

(Story compiled with assistance from wire reports)

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