By Our Correspondent
Novak Djokovic battled past Daniil Medvedev 6-3 7-6(5) 6-3 and into the tennis history books on Sunday, winning the U.S. Open to equal Margaret Court’s record haul of 24 Grand Slams.
The victory, his fourth in 10 Flushing Meadows finals, capped another remarkable Grand Slam campaign for Djokovic with wins at the Australian, French and U.S. Opens and a return to the top of the world rankings when they are updated on Monday.
The 36-year-old Serb becomes the oldest U.S. Open men’s winner in the Open Era and the first to win three Grand Slam events in a season for the fourth time.
The win was also measure of revenge for Djokovic.
The second seed walked out on to a packed Arthur Ashe Stadium on Sunday and stared across the net at Medvedev the man once again standing between him and history just as he had two years ago.
The last time the two clashed at the U.S. Open was in the 2021 final, when the Russian captured his only major and denied the Serb a rare calendar Grand Slam.
While Djokovic and Medvedev are intriguing figures, neither has been fully embraced by the New York crowds.
Certainly there was little of the electricity that crackled through Arthur Ashe during the women’s final on Saturday, with no clear support for either player from an attentive but subdued audience.
As expected in a contest featuring the sport’s two premier hardcourt players, almost every point was contested with long rallies as both men pounded away at each other from the baseline.
Djokovic came out playing with purpose and applied pressure right away breaking the third seed at the first opportunity on way to a 3-0 lead.
That would be the only break Djokovic would need against a surprisingly flat Medvedev who could not manufacture a single break chance in the first set.
During a marathon one hour and 44 minute, lung-bursting second set Medvedev would find life forcing a tiring Djokovic into long grinding point, after grinding point.
But the tireless Russian’s hard work would pay no dividends unable to convert any of his few break chances including one at 6-5 that would have given him the set.
Medvedev charged in front 3-1 of the tie-break but again could not land the knockout blow as Djokovic came off the ropes to take it 7-5 and a 2-0 lead.
If there is one thing Djokovic possesses it is a killer instinct and the Serb wasted no time striking breaking Medvedev to go up 3-1 in the third.
A defiant Medvedev answered with his first and only break of the match but it was not enough with Djokovic hitting right back with another break then holding serve the rest of way to clinch the title.