‘Knowing I beat someone going for huge history made it sweeter’: Daniil Medvedev enjoys party animal role after ending Novak Djokovic’s hopes for a Grand Slam calendar
- Daniel Medvedev defeated Novak Djokovic in the US Open final on Sunday
- The Russian was dominant when he defeated the Serb in straight sets (6-4, 6-4, 6-4)
- Djokovic would have held all four Grand Slams at once if he had won
As Daniil Medvedev played in the US Open final, you wonder if he could become the kingmaker in the battle between the ‘Big Three’ to win the most Grand Slam titles.
The Russian has a crazy side – witness his hilarious FIFA computer game ‘dead fish’ celebration after beating Novak Djokovic – but is a hugely formidable player who looks like the next number 1 in the world.
His 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 victory was so dominant that inevitably the question arises whether he could stop the Serb in his tracks. Djokovic needs one more major title to pass the currently incapacitated Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.
Daniel Medvedev said ending Novak Djokovic’s tennis history hopes sweetened his win
Oddly enough, it looked like Djokovic walked onto the pitch and almost accepted his fate in what he had heralded as the biggest game of his life.
His response was later one of resignation when asked how he felt just missing all four of the 2021 Slams. “Relief,” Djokovic replied. “I was glad it was over because building this tournament and everything I had to deal with mentally and emotionally was a lot to process.”
Medvedev appeared to have enjoyed his spoiler role, and will pose a serious threat to Djokovic’s usual dominance of the Australian Open.
Djokovic (left) would have held all four Grand Slams if he had won
“Knowing I beat someone who was 27-0 in Grand Slams in a year, going for a huge history, knowing I managed to stop him definitely makes it sweeter,” he said.
The race between Djokovic and Nadal is a fascinating prospect for next year as they are at 20 with Federer.
The Spaniard could have at least one more French Open in him, while Djokovic is so good in Australia that he will take his 10th title there in January.
But now that Medvedev has won that difficult first title, he will be a bigger threat in Melbourne, on the clay courts that suit him better than clay or grass.
Djokovic was left behind and admitted that the ‘changing of the guard’ is already underway.
“The transition was inevitable,” he said. “The older boys are still holding out. We are still trying to shine the light on the tennis world as much as possible.
“I still want to go on, try to win more Slams, play for my country. Those are the things that motivate me the most.
‘But the new generation is established. Of course they will take over. Tennis is in good hands as they are all nice guys and very high quality players.’