Novak Djokovic , two years after experiencing a shocking upset at the hands of Daniil Medvedev in the Flushing Meadows final, triumphed over the 27-year-old with a score of 6-3, 7-6(5), 6-3 inside Arthur Ashe Stadium. This victory marked his 24th major title, equaling Margaret Court’s record for the most Grand Slam singles trophies in tennis history.
During the trophy ceremony, Djokovic expressed his awe and gratitude, stating, “To make history of this sport is just something truly remarkable and special.” He reflected on his childhood dreams of becoming the best player in the world and winning Wimbledon. “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.”
Despite signs of fatigue, the four-time US Open champion showcased his trademark resilience under pressure, securing a grueling 104-minute second set, where he saved a set point, and then went on to claim victory.
Just two months earlier, Djokovic had suffered a heartbreaking loss in the Wimbledon final to Carlos Alcaraz. However, he bounced back with determination, winning all 12 of his matches since then. This victory marked the fourth time he has won three majors in a season (previously in 2011, 2015, and 2021).
With this win, Djokovic now holds two more major titles than Rafael Nadal and four more than the retired Roger Federer. He also surged to the top of the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin, as he aims to secure the ATP Year-End No. 1 ranking for an unprecedented eighth time.
A Hug from Tara
The post-match scene was emotional as Djokovic received a hug from his daughter, Tara, courtside. He then climbed up to his box to embrace his team and his friend, actor Matthew McConaughey. Djokovic expressed his gratitude, saying, “This is your trophy as much as it is mine. This is your success. I love you.”
Throughout the match, Djokovic displayed a versatile game, winning 84 percent of his 44 net approaches. This was a significant improvement from his net play in previous rounds. The first set and a half of the final appeared to be under Djokovic’s control. However, as Medvedev maintained his defensive stance at the back of the court, Djokovic started to show signs of fatigue. To handle the pressure, Djokovic resorted to serve and volley tactics, winning all 11 of his attempts in the second set, including a crucial set point where he reflexively volleyed the ball into an open court.
The last time Djokovic and Medvedev faced off at Flushing Meadows, Djokovic was aiming to become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win all four majors in the same season. However, on that occasion, he couldn’t find his best form, and Medvedev emerged victorious in straight sets.
In this Sunday final, Djokovic played exceptionally well from the outset. He broke Medvedev’s serve in the first return game, taking a 3-0 lead. Djokovic maintained an aggressive baseline game, preventing Medvedev from settling into long rallies.
Medvedev also performed admirably, but Djokovic’s sharpness in grueling points made the difference. Djokovic executed serve and volley tactics five times in the opening set, winning four of those points.
The second set turned into an attritional battle. Djokovic continued to impress with his ball-striking skills early in the set. However, the dynamics of the points changed from 3-3 onwards.
At 3-3, after a 31-shot rally, Djokovic fell to the court, signaling the physical toll the match was taking on him. The average rally length through two sets was 6.5 shots, and Medvedev had the upper hand in points lasting nine or more shots.
Djokovic adapted by using drop shots more frequently, seeking to shorten points and avoid trading heavy blows with Medvedev. He managed to escape trouble at 3-4, saving a break point with an exceptional half-volley drop shot. Nevertheless, as Medvedev prolonged rallies, the significance of each point increased. Medvedev had a golden opportunity to level the match with a set point but ended up falling behind by two sets.