Novak Djokovic wins U.S. Open for 24th Grand Slam title
Posted on: 11 Sep, 2023 at 01:08 AM
Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports
No. 2 seed Novak Djokovic defeated No. 3 seed Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3 to win the U.S. Open for his 24th Grand Slam title on Sunday night in New York.
Djokovic concluded a historic year that saw him capture three of the four Grand Slams. By winning the Australian and French Opens, he vaulted into first place alone in men's tennis history with 23 titles.
Now he is tied with Margaret Court for the most Grand Slam singles victories in tennis history, regardless of gender.
"It's hard to describe in words," Djokovic said at the trophy ceremony. "I had the childhood dream when I was seven, eight. I wanted to become the best player in the world and win the Wimbledon trophy. That was the only thing I wanted.
"But then when I realized that, obviously I started to dream new dreams and set new objectives, new goals. I never imagined that I would be here standing with you talking about 24 Slams."
Djokovic also gained a measure of revenge on Medvedev, who beat him in straight sets in the 2021 U.S. Open final.
It's the Serbian's fourth U.S. Open after claiming the title in 2011, 2015 and 2018. At 36 years old, he is also the oldest man to win the tournament in the Open era.
Djokovic had 38 winners and 35 unforced errors, while his Russian opponent finished with 32 winners and 39 unforced errors. Djokovic went 3-for-6 in breaking Medvedev's serve while only losing one service game of his own.
Neither player lost serve during the second set, setting up a tiebreaker after they reached 6-6. Medvedev led 3-1 when Djokovic scored three straight points to move in front. Medvedev took two before it was Djokovic's turn again, and Djokovic won the final three points to claim the set.
When Medvedev returned a shot into the net on Djokovic's first championship point, Djokovic calmly strode to meet him at the net and shake his hand before celebrating.
Djokovic honored the late NBA star Kobe Bryant by changing into a light blue shirt with the words "Mamba Forever" and a photo of Djokovic and Bryant together in a yellow center.
No. 24 was one of two jersey numbers Bryant wore throughout the course of his career.
"Kobe was close friend. We chatted a lot about the winner's mentality," Djokovic said. "When I was struggling with an injury and trying to make my comeback, work my way back to the top of the game, he was one of the people that I rely on the most. He was always there for any kind of counsel, advice, any kind of support in a most friendly way."
Medvedev was seeking his second Grand Slam title.
"Twenty-four. I feel like I have not a bad career and I have 20 (total) titles, you have 24 Grand Slams. Wow," Medvedev said to Djokovic. "Congrats to you and your team. You guys are amazing."
--Field Level Media