The final of the US Open 2021 did not meet the predictions of the eve, on the contrary it immediately turned into a solo by Daniil Medvedev. The young Russian, who won the first Grand Slam of his career, demolished Novak Djokovic in three sets, preventing him from achieving the Grand Slam.
The number 1 in the world, physically and mentally exhausted, has never managed to enter the game and impose his rhythm from the baseline. The Serbian phenomenon has therefore seen the dream of becoming the second player in the Open Era vanish after Rod Laver to conquer all four majors in the same year.
Nole also failed to overtake eternal rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, with the Big 3 remaining paired at 20 Grand Slams each. Fans fear that this defeat could have serious repercussions on Djokovic's future. In his column on El Pais, Toni Nadal highlighted how Novak was unable to withstand the pressure one step away from the finish line.
Toni Nadal analyzes Djokovic's collapse writing: "Even the great champions, at times, are betrayed by the nerves and cannot bear the pressure to which they are subjected in a certain situation. This is exactly what happened to Novak Djokovic in the US Open final.
He knew very well that it was the most important game of his entire life and that - if he had won - it would probably have ended the debate related to the greatest ever. Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are still tied at 20 slams each, but it's also true that fans and experts have a rather short memory.
In the GOAT debate, only current players are considered at all times. It would be a grave mistake not to include the legendary Rod Laver in this speech. No one has been able to match his Calendar Grand Slam until now. He even managed it twice, in 1962 and 1969, not to mention the period of time in which professionals were banned from participating in the Grand Slams."
Novak Djokovic is moved by talking about his family
The last steep climb was fatal to enter the legend and complete the Grand Slam for the second time in his career. Daniil Medvedev tripped Novak Djokovic and took possession (deservedly) of the US Open title, redeeming himself from the failed attempt in 2019 always in the final with Rafa Nadal.
Probably, the difference was made by the six hours more Nole was forced to stay on the field than his opponent, thanks to not having immediately closed several affordable matches on paper, and the lack of clarity of the world number one, who he made a lot of mistakes during the race and never managed to neutralize the Russian's game.
The Serbian has disappointed in a certain sense the large audience of Arthur Ashe Stadium, not exactly respectful of the new winner of the last Slam tournament of the 2021 season, especially in the last points played in the third set, which has well supported the champion of Belgrade, trying to help him in the many difficulties encountered.
Immediately after the defeat, he declared on the court: “Of course, part of me is very sad. It's hard to digest, this loss, I mean, considering everything that was at stake. But on the other hand I felt something that I have never experienced in my life here in New York.
The crowd made me feel very special. They pleasantly surprised me." Djokovic thus missed the opportunity to overtake Spaniard Rafa Nadal and Swiss Roger Federer in the special classification of Grand Slam titles won. The three will close the year paired at 20 and in the next year, hoping that they will be regularly on the court and all in the best physical condition, they will fight even more to take the solitary top of the ranking.
"And in tennis we learn very quickly how to move on. Very soon there are other challenges, other things that are coming. I learned to overcome these hard defeats in the Grand Slam finals, the ones that hurt the most. I still love this sport and I still feel good on the court.
As long as there is motivation and that glow, I will keep playing." In a press conference, interviewed by some Serbian media, Nole let himself go talking about his family: "I have different priorities in life. I want to spend more time with my children, I promised. My absence hurts a lot."