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Imperial on the court, Russian Daniil Medvedev won the final of the US Open, his first major title, beating Novak Djokovic (6-4, 6-4, 6-4) on Sunday in New York. A final victory which deprives the Serbian world number 1 of the feat of a Grand Slam over a calendar year.

Author of a perfect final, the ruthless Daniil Medvedev won the US Open, beating 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 Novak Djokovic, who has not borne the weight of history, thus failing to achieve the feat of a Grand Slam over one year, Sunday, September 12 in New York.

“I’m sorry for you fans and for you Novak, we knew what you could achieve. When we see what you’ve achieved in your career … I can say it now, but for me you are the greatest player of History “, paid tribute to the Russian, who finally won his first major tournament.

In doing so, he prevents the Serbian from establishing a new record in the matter, since he remains blocked at 20 coronations, still tied with his eternal rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

“If there is one who deserves to be there now, it is you, Daniil”, had just congratulated him a few seconds earlier Djokovic, who could not suppress a few tears.

And for good reason: at the gates of the greatest feat of the Open era, he failed, like the Swiss and the Spaniard before him, to join the decidedly very closed club of champions to have won the Australian Open, Roland -Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open the same year.

Rod Laver therefore remains the last to have achieved this performance on the men’s side. It was in 1968, for the second time concerning him (1962), after the American pioneer Don Budge in 1938. For the ladies, we must go back first to Steffi Graf (1988), then Margaret Court (1970) and Maureen Connoly (1953).

Smashed racket

To beat his rival, the Russian did it in an exceptional way, leaving the match of his life and demonstrating that he had learned the lessons of the two lost finals, in 2019 against Rafael Nadal after an epic fight, and in February this year, against Djokovic, when he missed out on his match.

His third attempt, marked by icy determination, was the right one. Because he was first imperial in service, taking the risk – often winning – to hit his second balls with the same power as his first. With, at the end, a perfect first set (6 aces, 16 in total).

He also shone with his ability to accelerate with forehands and always counter-attack at the best time. Almost none of his choices turned out bad.

In front, it quickly appeared that the Serbian was losing another match, against a huge pressure that would liquefy any champion. Even him.

In the second set, Djokovic nevertheless had the opportunity to make the break. Three times from the first game. After failing, he slapped the racket several times on his right thigh and since it had not broken, he smashed it on the cement two games later, weighed down by a umpteenth big mistake.

“You touched my soul”

The Serb never knew how to get back into the match, as he always had the ability to do this year, during the 27 Grand Slam victories leading him to this 28e match supposed to be for the glory.

Because Medvedev, past this brief threat, has never loosened the grip. He continued to pressurize the world number 1 to pocket the second set and go on with four straight games in the third.

The amazement was immense in the Arthur-Ashe stadium where the public, determined to witness history, were almost 100% behind them. The 23,000 or so spectators, including Leonardo DiCaprio and Spike Lee, woke up when he finally made the break for the first time against the Russian, who suddenly became feverish, after a double fault on his first match point.

At the change of sides, Novak smiled with emotion. “Even though I didn’t win, my heart is full of joy because you made me special tonight, you touched my soul, I had never felt that here in New York”, he will say. there after.

Certainly warmed up, Djokovic was already inconsolable. Because opposite, it was the Tsar, the evening star. Almost elsewhere in the nanoseconds after his winning match point, Medvedev let himself fall like a dead fish on the court.

The audience’s ovation gave him oxygen to get up. A deserved ovation because what he accomplished, nobody had done this year.

With AFP