Novak Djokovic’s ambition of becoming only the second man in Open Era history to win all four Grand Slams was dashed just one step from the finish line. The World No. 1 reached the final of the US Open after winning the first three Slams of the season.
The Serbian superstar, tense and physically tired, succumbed to Daniil Medvedev in the final act at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York. The public’s attempt to motivate the 34-year-old Belgrade native, who couldn’t do anything in front of a top-ranked opponent, was futile.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion was not very impressive in the previous rounds, despite coming off a long semifinal against Alexander Zverev. On his approach to his second final, the Russian had benefited from a relatively easy draw, which had put the inexperienced Felix Auger-Aliassime in front of him.
Former Serbian Davis Cup selector Goran Bubanj discussed Djokovic’s fall at the US Open in a recent interview with Sputnik. Djokovic was one step away from making history.
Bubanj said, “Daniil Medvedev had a very comfortable draw, he didn’t face great opponents along the way. However, this did not automatically mean that he was starting favourite against Novak Djokovic in the title match. Often the exact opposite occurs in those cases. The progress of the final did not depend on Medvedev, but exclusively on Nole’s subdued performance.
“If we analyse the moments of the match, there are a couple that played a decisive role. First of all, the first game of the final was very important, in which Djokovic suffered the break despite being 40-15 ahead,” he further added.
“There he made a series of gratuitous mistakes, including a double fault. You could see that he was under pressure from the start.
“Then, the start of the second set comes to mind. Novak held his batting game and had three consecutive breakpoints on the Russian’s serve.
“If he had used one, he would have fled at 2-0 and maybe we would have seen a totally different match. The key for the Serbian was to lengthen the final in order to insinuate some doubts in Daniil’s head.”