Daniil Medvedev recorded 16 aces and ended Novak Djokovic’s pursuit of a calendar grand slam with a dominating 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 victory in the U.S. Open final on Sunday in New York.
The 25-year-old Medvedev won his first Grand Slam title while preventing Djokovic from becoming the first man since legendary Rod Laver (1969) to win all four Grand Slam events in the same year.
Djokovic also was seeking to win a record 21st Grand Slam crown. He remains tied with Switzerland’s Roger Federer and Spain’s Rafael Nadal, neither of whom entered the U.S. Open this year.
“We all know what he was going for today,” Medvedev said in the trophy celebration. “I just want to say (to Djokovic) that what you accomplished this year and for all your career ... for me you are the greatest tennis player in history.”
The second-seeded Medvedev had 38 winners and 31 unforced errors while notching the biggest win of his career. The victory was assured when the top-seeded Djokovic returned a serve into the net.
The Russian came close to winning the U.S. Open in 2019 but lost a five-set thriller to Nadal.
“If there is anyone that deserves the Grand Slam title right now, it’s you,” Djokovic told Medvedev during the trophy celebration. “So well done. ... I’m sure you will be on this stage again in the future.”
Medvedev lost just one set during the tournament while earning $2.5 million.
The 34-year-old Djokovic was 27-0 in Grand Slam matches this year prior to Sunday’s loss in two hours and 16 minutes. The 83-year-old Laver was in attendance.
Djokovic also trailed by two sets in this year’s French Open final before rallying to defeat Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece.
Djokovic had six aces among 27 winners but committed 38 unforced errors as he lost in the U.S. Open final for the sixth time in nine opportunities. He won titles in 2011, 2015 and 2018.
Medvedev won the first four games of the third set to keep the pressure on Djokovic.
Djokovic won two of the next three games before Medvedev had a match point in the following game.
But Medvedev double-faulted and Djokovic won the game to remain alive. The Serbian also won the next game to pull within 5-4 before Medvedev closed it out to become only the second Russian man to win the U.S. Open. Marat Safin in 2000 was the other.
Medvedev won the first two games of the opening set while quickly asserting he was in top form.
After closing out the opening set, he fell behind 2-1 in the second before winning four of the next five games en route to winning that set.
Djokovic defeated Medvedev in the Australian Open final earlier this year. He also defeated Italy’s Matteo Berrettini to win the Wimbledon crown.