The mutual respect was there to be seen as Daniil Medvedev and Novak Djokovic embraced each other after the US Open men’s singles final on Sunday. The World No. 2 from Russia reigned supreme, coming up with a serving masterclass against the Serb to win the big final 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 and clinch his maiden Grand Slam title.
In an emotional post-match presentation ceremony, Daniil Medvedev paid the ultimate tribute to Novak Djokovic, saying he believes the Serb is ‘the greatest player ever’ in the history of the sport. Djokovic sported a big smile, acknowledging the praise from his opponent after tearing up during the trophy presentation.
Medvedev said he has never said this to anyone else but that he felt Djokovic was worth enough of the tag of the GOAT in men’s tennis. The Russian star, 25, apologized for spoiling Djokovic’s New York party as he denied the Serb a Calendar Slam on Sunday.
“First of all, I want to say sorry for the fans and Novak because we all know what he was going for today. I just want to say that you have been brilliant this year and throughout your career,” Medvedev said.
“I have never said this to anybody. But I will say it, right now. For me, you are the greatest tennis player in history”.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 12, 2021
Medvedev did what Djokovic has done to many of his opponents over the years by putting on a clinical show, not allowing the Serb to fluster him at any point through the final that went to 2 hours and 15 minutes. It was Medvedev who seemed to be in zen mode, picking up a break in each of the first two sets. It looked improbable but the New York crowd and the tennis fraternity did not rule out another stunning comeback from Djokovic from 2 sets down.
However, Medvedev kept putting relentless pressure on Djokovic, claiming a double break to go 3-0 up in the 3rd set before closing out the match despite missing out on his first championship point.
I can’t lose the final: Medvedev’s fears on 3rd wedding anniversary
Medvedev, who was at his funniest best, revealed it was his 3rd wedding anniversary on Sunday and he did not get a present for his wife, who was at the stands at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, before the final. Medvedev said he wanted to win the big final at any cost to make up for not getting the present on time for his better half.
“It’s the third anniversary for me and my wife today. You know during the tournament, I couldn’t think of a present or anything. When I went into the final, I thought if I lose, I need to find a present fast. When I was playing the final, I thought ‘If I lose, I don’t have time to find a present, so I have to win’. Love you, Daria, thanks a lot,” he added.
Djokovic remained tied on 20 Grand Slams with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic as he missed out on an opportunity to make it 21 in 2021.