October 1, 2023

Sports activities Information

“It clearly means the world to me.”

Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after defeating Daniil Medvedev of Russia throughout their Males’s Singles Remaining match Sunday. Clive Brunskill/Getty Pictures

NEW YORK (AP) — Novak Djokovic emerged from an exhilarating and exhausting U.S. Open last with a twenty fourth Grand Slam title on Sunday night time, utilizing each ounce of his power and a few serve-and-volley guile to get previous Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3 in a match that was extra intently contested than the straight-set rating indicated.

Djokovic, a 36-year-old from Serbia, moved one main singles title in entrance of Serena Williams to develop into the primary participant to win 24 within the Open period, which started in 1968. Margaret Court docket additionally collected a complete of 24, however 13 of these got here earlier than professionals have been admitted to the Slam occasions.

“It clearly means the world to me,” mentioned Djokovic, who will return to No. 1 within the rankings on Monday.

There have been moments, significantly within the 1-hour, 44-minute second set that was as a lot about tenacity as expertise, when Djokovic gave the impression to be faltering. After among the most grueling factors — and there have been many — he would lean over with palms on knees or use his racket for assist or pause to stretch his legs. After one, he dropped to his again on the court docket and stayed down for a bit as the group roared.

He allowed Medvedev to return inside a single level of taking that set whereas returning at 6-5. Djokovic rushed the online behind his serve, and whereas Medvedev had a gap for a backhand passing shot he didn’t come via.

That was a key adjustment: When Djokovic was trying extra bedraggled, he turned to serve-and-volleying, not his standard type of tactic, to nice success. He received 20 of twenty-two factors he performed that approach, and 37 of 44 general on the factors when he went to the online.

This triumph towards Medvedev, the opponent who beat him within the 2021 last at Flushing Meadows to cease a bid for the primary males’s calendar-year Grand Slam in additional than a half-century, made Djokovic the oldest male champion on the U.S. Open within the Open period.

“To begin with, Novak, I wish to ask: What are you continue to doing right here? Come on,” Medvedev joked throughout the trophy presentation.

Djokovic’s fourth championship in New York, the place he was unable to compete a 12 months in the past as a result of he isn’t vaccinated towards COVID-19, goes alongside his 10 trophies from the Australian Open, seven from Wimbledon and three from the French Open, extending his lead on the boys’s Slam record. Rafael Nadal, who has been sidelined since January with a hip drawback that required surgical procedure, is subsequent with 22; Roger Federer, who introduced his retirement a 12 months in the past, completed with 20.

When it was over, Medvedev tapped Djokovic on the chest as they chatted on the internet. Djokovic flung his racket away, put his arms up after which knelt on the court docket, along with his head bowed. After which the celebration was on. First he discovered his daughter for a hug. His son and spouse got here subsequent, alongside along with his group.

Quickly, Djokovic was donning a shirt with “24” and “Mamba Endlessly” written on it as a tribute to the late NBA star Kobe Bryant, who wore that jersey quantity. And on high of that went a white jacket with the identical vital quantity stamped on the chest.

Nearly as good as ever, Djokovic went 27-1 within the sport’s most prestigious occasions this season: The lone blemish was a loss to Carlos Alcaraz within the last at Wimbledon in July. Djokovic will rise to No. 1 within the rankings on Monday, overtaking Alcaraz, who was the defending champion at Flushing Meadows however was eradicated by No. 3 Medvedev.

At first Sunday, with the Arthur Ashe Stadium retractable roof shut due to rain within the forecast, Djokovic was snug as may be. No signal of the event weighing on him, no hint of the strain he acknowledged briefly arose late in his semifinal towards unseeded American Ben Shelton.

His exemplary motion good as ever, each stroke simply so, Djokovic got here out as his greatest self. He grabbed 12 of the primary 16 factors — three by way of aces completely positioned, and with tempo, and 4 by way of exchanges that lasted 10 strokes or extra — alongside the best way to leads of 3-0 and 4-1.

Medvedev, in distinction, appeared tight, jittery, the looping swings of his white racket breaking down repeatedly, whether or not on a trio of double-faults within the opening set or throughout the lengthier factors, aside from on one 37-shot back-and-forth that ended when Djokovic blinked, stumbling as he flubbed a backhand.

Past that, although, Djokovic was as dependable as a metronome, anticipating practically every part headed his approach and scurrying this manner and that to retrieve and reply, as is his wont.

And the followers certain have been appropriately appreciative, which has not all the time been the case over Djokovic’s profession. On this afternoon-into-evening, assist got here from 1000’s, not solely the parents invoking his two-syllable nickname whereas chanting, “Let’s go, No-le, let’s go!” or these in his visitor field, together with Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey, one among many A-listers readily available.

When he acquired to set level within the first on a miscue by Medvedev, Djokovic confirmed his first actual little bit of emotion, elevating a fist and turning to the nook the place his entourage had jumped to their ft. When one other Medvedev miss ended the set, Djokovic merely exhaled and strode to the sideline.

He depends on analytics and what a foe’s tendencies are. He leans on intuition and a masterful capacity to learn opposing serves and groundstrokes. On Sunday, his blue footwear carried him proper the place he wanted to be, as a rule, and his flexibility — turning, bending, contorting, stretching, sliding, defending along with his again to the online, even — allowed him to maintain the ball in play, when required, and create flip-the-switch offense, too, if desired.

Medvedev performs an analogous sort of tennis, and their mirror pictures would elongate factors for 25 pictures, 35 pictures, extra.

Was Djokovic good? No. However, wow, he got here shut in sections, and he was completely ok all through to win, as he so typically is.