Daniil Medvedev won his first grand slam title on Sunday, defeating Novak Djokovic in the US Open final 6-4 6-4 6-4, ending Djokovic’s hopes of completing a calendar grand slam.
Medvedev, 25, became the third Russian man to win a major singles title and the ninth different US Open men’s singles champion in the last 14 years in his third grand slam final.
He thanked his friends, family, and fans for keeping him going throughout the week. He wished his wife a happy anniversary at the end of his speech.
“During the tournament I couldn’t think of a present or anything, but if I lose I have to think of a present,” Medvedev said.
Djokovic, who was in tears after the match, was also praised by the world No. 2 for his achievements.
“For me, you are the greatest tennis player in the history,” Medvedev said.
Djokovic responded by saying that his opponent deserved to win the title: “I wish you many more grand slams, many more majors, and I’m sure you’ll be on this stage again in the future,” he said.
Djokovic was aiming for a record 21st grand slam title and the first men’s calendar grand slam since Rod Laver in 1969, when he won the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open all in the same year.
After Sunday’s match, Djokovic is tied for 20 grand slam titles with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Medvedev, who reached the final by defeating 12th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada in straight sets, lost in five sets to Rafael Nadal in the 2019 US Open final and in straight sets to Djokovic in the Australian Open final earlier this year.
Medvedev, on the other hand, looked ominous throughout this year’s competition, dropping only one set on his way to the final, where he was able to avenge his Melbourne defeat and put an end to Djokovic’s hopes of having a year to remember.
Medvedev said he learned a lot from his loss to Djokovic in the Melbourne final after his semifinal victory over Auger-Aliassime.
“He was playing different than the matches he did before me, and I was kind of not ready for it, so now I am,” Medvedev said of Djokovic’s tactics.
Medvedev’s time at the US Open in 2019 was full of ups and downs.
He was fined for unsportsmanlike conduct and a visible obscenity during a game. As a result, in the eyes of the New York crowd, he became a de facto villain. However, he was able to reclaim them in the following rounds due to his charisma, personality, and excellent play.
He hoped for a “love” relationship between him and the fans before this year’s US Open. He’s learned to just be himself since the experience in 2019.
“Of course, I take lessons,” he explained to CNN Sport before the tournament this year. “What you should do and what you shouldn’t do on the tennis court. But as a tennis player, I’m definitely different.
“It was a new experience that made me believe in myself even more and made me better as a tennis player.”
Medvedev could be at the forefront of a promising crop of young, up-and-coming stars in men’s tennis.
Having previously lost in grand slam finals, the Russian’s victory at the ATP Tour Finals in 2020 was a watershed moment, as he became the first player to defeat the world Nos. 1, 2 and 3 on his way to winning the season-ending tournament.