Daniil Medvedev has told Novak Djokovic he is ‘the greatest player in history’ after crushing his Calendar Slam dreams at the US Open.
Djokovic took to the court in the final knowing one more win would see him achieve the first calendar Grand Slam for 52 years.
However, he did not look like himself from the off as a combination of fatigue, pressure, and nervous tension appeared to sap his legs and strip him of many of his biggest weapons.
Medvedev, meanwhile, perhaps buoyed by the absence of the ‘can he win his first major’ pressure with everyone instead focused on Djokovic, was able to take ruthless advantage.
The Russian broke Djokovic in the his first service game and managed to hold the lead for the entirety of the match, eventually closing out a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 win.
Djokovic himself started struggling more and more with the relief of pressure as the match slipped from his grasp.
With the crowd noticing his struggles, they fully embraced him offering him huge support, the like of which he has sadly been denied for much of his career.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 12, 2021
It reduced him the tears, and those tears remained in his eyes as Medvedev served out the final game to claim his maiden slam.
After the match, Medvedev was keen to pay tribute to Djokovic for all he has achieved and what he came so close to doing, telling him: “I never said this to anyone, but I’ll say it today. You are the greatest tennis player in history.”
The result leaves Djokovic still tied on 20 major titles with rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
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