Daniil Medvedev crashed to a heartbreaking defeat against Novak Djokovic in the US Open 2023 men’s singles final, at the Flushing Meadows in New York on Monday. The Russian lost 3-6 6(5)-7 3-6 in packed Arthur Ashe Stadium and almost staged a comeback in the second set.
The first set was all about Djokovic, as he easily claimed it 6-3. Medvedev tried to use his age to his advantage, but couldn’t only consolidate on it in the second set, where he kept a lead until the end, when Djokovic took it to a tiebreak and came out on top. In the final set, Djokovic looked like he was a man on a mission and surged to victory, matching Margaret Court’s record tally of 24 Grand Slam titles. The title also proved to be 36-year-old’s fourth US Open trophy.
Djokovic also managed to take revenge on Medvedev, who beat him in the 2021 US Open final. Speaking after the match, Medvedev hailed Djokovic and also pointed out that if the Serbian and Rafael Nadal didn’t play, his career would have been different. “I find it amazing that I beat Novak in a Grand Slam Final. At this point, I’d say that’s the pinnacle of my career.. at the same time, if he & Rafa didn’t exist.. well that’s not possible. I played 5 finals against them & only won 1.. he pushes me to be better.. we met when I was 500 in the world. He was super kind to me. He treated me as a normal person. He still does. Nothing changed. 24 Grand Slams, nothing changed. I think that’s something great about a person”, he said.
After Djokovic won the match point, Medvedev tapped him on the chest as they talked at the net. After that, the Serbian ace flung his racket, put his arms up and then knelt on the court, head bowed. Then he found his daughter for a hug, followed by his son, wife, parents and his team.
Also, Djokovic paid tribute to Kobe Bryant, changing to a t-shirt with ’24’ and ‘Mamba Forever’ written on it as tribute to the NBA star, who passed away in a helicopter crash with his daughter in January 2020. After his win, Djokovic said, “I never imagined that I would be here standing with you talking about 24 Slams. I never thought that would be the reality. But the last couple of years, I felt I have a chance, I have a shot for history, and why not grab it if it’s presented?”