Daniil Medvedev has become the third Russian man in history to win a major title after defeating a lackluster Novak Djokovic to lift the US Open trophy.
Playing in the final at Flushing Meadows for the second time in his career after 2019, an inspired Medvedev produced a stern service display and belted the ball deep towards the baseline throughout his 6-4, 6-4, 6-4, triumph over the world No.1. In contrast Djokovic, who was bidding to become the first man to win a Calendar Slam for 53 years, looked weary on the court after coming through some tough matches earlier in the week.
The 25-year-old has become the ninth different player to win the US Open men’s title since 2007. Coming into the final he had won 14 out of his past 15 matches played on his favorite surface. Medvedev has won more hard-court titles and matches than any other ATP player over the past three years. Against Djokovic, he won 81% of his first service points and fired 38 winners past him.
“Sorry for you the fans and Novak. We all know what he was trying to achieve. What you have accomplished this year and throughout your career – I never said this to anybody but I will say it right now. For me, you are the greatest tennis player in history.” Medvedev said during the trophy ceremony.
In what was a rematch of this year’s Australian Open final, Medvedev made an emphatic start with the help of an almost flawless service performance. In Djokovic’s opening game the top seed struggled to find his footing with a series of unforced errors enabling his opponent to break in the first game. In the driving seat, Medvedev snatched the opening set by winning 20 out of his 23 service points against somebody who has been described as one of the best returners in the history of men’s tennis. Fittingly he would seal the 6-4 lead with the help of an ace.
Losing the opener has become an unwelcome tradition for Djokovic in New York who also found himself in the same scenario in his four previous matches. To put that into perspective, it has been 132 years since a male player last reached the US Open final after coming back from a set down on four occasions.
However, Medvedev continued to have the upper hand against the 20-time Grand Slam champion who reached boiling point early on in the second frame. Djokovic’s inability to convert break point opportunities prompted him to smash his racket on the ground out of anger. Then in the following game, a series of uncharacteristic mistakes enabled Medvedev to issue his next blow as he broke for a 3-2 lead. Closing in on the 6-4, 6-4, lead he prevailed on his third set point with the help of another Djokovic error.
The former champion continued to struggle with his movement as Medvedev’s sublime defensive play resembled that of a brick wall. A double break in the third set moved him closer to the brink of winning the biggest title of his life.
Serving for the title Medvedev encountered a fresh obstacle – the animated New York crowd. Bursts of boos erupted from fans who wanted the final to be prolonged and voiced their support for Djokovic who at one point looked to be clearly emotional by the situation. Leading 5-2 Medvedev failed to serve the match out but triumphed two games later when a shot from his nemesis slammed into the net. Prompting him to drop to the floor.
“I want to thank you guys (the crowd). I mean today maybe (the support) was a little bit more for Novak but that’s completely understandable. Throughout the week you gave me a lot of energy. It helped me,” the new champion said.
“Today is the third anniversary for me and my wife. During the tournament, I couldn’t think of a present or anything . When I made the final, I thought, if I lose I need to find a present fast. I have no time to find a present, I have to win this match.” He added.
Whilst he didn’t win the title, Djokovic still managed to win over the hearts of many fans watching on the Arthur Ashe Stadium who gave him a standing ovation. Something he said makes him the ‘happiest man alive.’
“I was thinking in both scenarios, visualing myself standing here in front of you guys and what would I say. I would like to say that tonight, even though I have not won the match, my heart is filled with joy and I am the happiest man alive because you guys made me feel very special on the court,” Djokovic said to the crowd.
“You guys touched my soul. I have never felt like this is New York. I love you guys. Thank you so much for your support and everything you have done tonight for me.”
Medvedev is the only active player to have a winning record against Djokovic as world No.1.
Alexander Zverev Pushed But Manages To Beat Isner As Europe Storms To Lead In Laver Cup
The German gave Team Europe a massive lead after winning a tight match.
Alexander Zverev needed a trademark ” Laver Breaker” to beat the 6ft 10 Amercian John Isner 7-6, 6-7, 10-5 in two hours and 17 minutes on the saecond day of the Laver Cup.
The German hit 13 aces in the match, meanwhile Isner went 0 for 3 on breakpoints.
” I think in this format playing John (Isner) is one of the toughest opponents there can be and he is the best server of all time plus he was hitting the ball extremely hard and well today,” said Zverev.
“To be honest I played a pretty good match,” he added.
In the first set, both players had zero issues holding serve. In the opening tiebreak it was extremely tight but the world number four managed to get the crucial break at 4-3 and that was enough for him to serve out the first set.
The second frame stayed on serve until 3-3 when the American had two chances to break but the Hamburg native managed to save both. In the following game he responded by earning three break points of his very own but Isner saved all three and held serve.
Isner had another chance at 5-5 but was unable to convert and again proceedings went into another tiebreaker to decide the second set. In that breaker, the world number 22 jumped out to a 3-0 lead before the German responded winning the next three points to make it 3-3.
After that, it stayed on serve until 7-6 and it was the American who managed to break Zverev to win the second set and force a match tiebreak to decide the match.
The first four points went on serve and it was the German who got the first break and jumped out to a 6-3 and that lead was enough for him to serve out the match and give Team Europe a 7-1 lead.
After the match in his on-court interview, Zverev spoke about the second set and the level both he and Isner was playing at.
” Even the second set that I lost I didn’t do many things wrong so it shows that the match was very high level and obviously happy to give Team Europe the lead”. He said.
Day 2 results :
In the first match of the day, the Aussie Nick Kyrgios faced Stefanos Tsitsipas and it was the world number three who took the match in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 26 minutes.
After the match, Krygios mentioned in his post-match press conference that the Laver Cup would be the last event he played in 2021, stating that his mother’s health is not doing well and he is planning to return to Australia to be with her.
In the night session Danil Medvedev, the current US Open champion, took on Denis Shapovalov and the Russian only needed one hour and 15 minutes to beat him 6-4, 6-0 to give Team Europe a 9-1 lead.
In the last match of the day, a doubles clash featuring Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev took on Isner and Krygios, and again it was the Europeans who managed to win 6-7, 6-3, 10-4.
Day 3 Preview :
On Sunday Team Europe will have a chance to clinch the trophy in their first match as they only need two more points and on Sunday a win is worth three. The day will start with a doubles match featuring Rublev and Zverev taking on Shapovalov and Rielly Opelka.
In singles, Zverev will face Felix Auger Aliassime, Medvedev will face Diego Schwartzman, and the last match scheduled is Isner vs Tsitsipas.
Andy Murray Surging In Confidence After Reaching First ATP Quarter-Final Since 2019
The 34-year-old believes he is getting better with every match played on the Tour as he eyes a spot in the final later this week.
Former world No.1 Andy Murray says he is starting to gain more belief in his game after reaching the quarter-finals of the Moselle Open on Wednesday.
The three-time Grand Slam champion rallied to a 6-3, 6-3, win over Canada’s Vasek Pospisil in the French city. Murray dropped serve only once at the start of the second set but broke his opponent four times en route to the victory. It is the first time he has registered back-to-back wins on the ATP Tour since Wimbledon and it is the first time he has reached a quarter-final since winning the 2019 Antwerp Open.
Murray showed glimmers of his best tennis recently at the US Open where he took Stefanos Tsitsipas to five sets in the first round before losing. However, in his following tournament on the Challenger circuit he lost in the second round to world No.154 Roman Safiullin. Despite the mixed performances, the Brit says his fitness continues to improve and he believes he is heading in the right direction.
“For me, this period of the last few years has been the most I have played really,” Murray said following his win over Pospisil.
“My body feels good and I am starting to gain just a little bit of confidence with each match, starting to see the points and how I want to play them, which is great.
“There have been times in the past year where I have been a little bit confused and not seeing how the points are developing which was always a strong part of my game.
“It made me feel quite uncomfortable on court when I was feeling that way, so I am starting to get that back and the results are coming, my tennis is getting better.”
The 34-year-old, who now plays on the Tour with a metal hip after undergoing two operations, is targeting a return back into the world’s top 100 for the first time since 2018. He came agonisingly close in July when he reached 102. At present, he is currently ranked 113 but will climb at least four places following his run in Metz this week.
In the next round Murray will play either top seed Hubert Hurkacz or former top 10 player Lucas Pouille. Both players are likely to be a stern challenge for the three-time Grand Slam champion who is hoping to reach the final for the first time since 2007.
“I would love to get another opportunity to play here in the final, but there is a lot of tennis to be played before then potentially against the number one seed in the next round,” he reflected.
“It is not going to be easy if I want to reach the final, but I am playing well and have an opportunity.”
Murray has won 42 ATP titles and has earned more than $62M in prize money so far in his career.
Diego Schwartzman Receives Threats On Social Media Following Shock Davis Cup Defeat
The world No.15 is the latest player to speak out about recieving abusive messages on social media.
The weekend has been an emotional rollercoaster for Diego Schwartzman, who suffered ‘one of the worst’ losses of his career before helping secure victory for his country in their Davis Cup tie against Belarus.
On Saturday the world No.15 was stunned by unranked 18-year-old Daniil Ostapenkov who is yet to play a professional match on the pro Tour. Ostapenkov is currently ranked 63 in the world on the junior circuit. The comprehensive victory shocked the Argentinian team who was hosting the tie at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club.
Despite the shock upset, Schwartman managed to redeem himself the following day when he defeated Alexander Zgirovsky 6-1, 6-2. That victory handed his country an unassailable 3-1 lead in their tie and secured their place in the 2022 Davis Cup qualifiers which will take place next March.
“Not only playing Davis, but in Buenos Aires, with a lot of people you don’t see, it’s not easy. My level can be and has to be much better. After the game on Saturday I had a difficult day in the spirit of being able to get up and enjoy with the group,” La Nacion quoted Schwartzman as saying.
“The most normal thing was that we won the series. It’s what everyone expected. But when you have a very difficult day at work like it was on Saturday and then you win, it excites you because you have some internal things withheld.”
Between those two matches, Schwartzman revealed that he was trolled on social media by some people unhappy about his loss in the tie. The 2020 French Open semi-finalist said he received criticism and even threats from some asking him to leave his home country. Something he admits affected him at times.
“It was one of the worst days of my career,” Schwartzman commented on his loss to Zgirovsky. “I lost to an unranked, inexperienced player. All that already affects (me) a lot. Although 80 or 90 percent of the people are always encouraging (me), there was a minority who criticized me with bad intentions.’
“I received threats, insults and requests not to return to Argentina. More or less, it affects (me)”.
Schwartzman is not the first player to speak out about online abuse. During the US Open Shelby Rogers said she was expecting to receive ‘death threats’ following her loss to Emma Raducanu who went on to win the title. Sloane Stephens has also previously spoken out about being the victim of racism online.
The 29-year-old says he has previously tried to interact with those who have trolled him on social media to find out why they are doing so.
“Sometimes I start to answer some messages and I ask those people if they realize what they are sending,” Schwartzman said during his press conference. “The vast majority apologize and say they had not realized it. But at the moment it hurts. That very ill-intentioned criticism is the only bad thing about social networks.”
Schwartzman has won four ATP titles and earned more than $10M in prize money so far in his career.
Alexander Zverev Shines At Laver Cup But Domestic Abuse Allegations Still Cast A Shadow
Nick Kyrgios Exits Laver Cup Unsure About How Much Longer He Will Continue Playing
Alexander Zverev Pushed But Manages To Beat Isner As Europe Storms To Lead In Laver Cup
James Duckworth beats Ilya Ivashka to reach the final in Nur Sultan
Maria Sakari reaches her first WTA Tour final since 2019 in Ostrava
Novak Djokovic ‘All In’ For History After Outlasting Zverev In US Open Semis
ATP Moves Closer To Staging Five More 12-Day Masters 1000 Events After Board Approval
Boris Becker Hits Out At ‘Unacceptable’ Treatment Of Novak Djokovic
WTA Luxembourg Open Axed Over Disagreements Between Tour And Organisers
Top Names Come In Support Of Openly Gay Players On The Men’s Tour
US Open, Steve Flink: “Djokovic’s loss had more to do with fatigue than pressure”
US Open, Steve Flink on the Murray-Tsitsipas Controversy
(VIDEO) Dominic Thiem, Juan Martin Del Potro Gathering Momentum In Comeback Bids
Steve Flink On Wimbledon: “Bautista Agut would be a tough semifinal test for Djokovic”
Wimbledon, Flink: “Djokovic Will Beat Zverev in the Final”
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