US Open: Djokovic shows frustration against Medvedev
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Novak Djokovic was philosophical in defeat to Daniil Medvedev, admitting he was “glad it was over”. The Serbian tennis superstar was chasing history at the US Open with two records up for grabs.
There was not only the chance to move ahead of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on to 21 majors, but he was also aiming to become the first male player in the open era to win the Calendar Slam.
Djokovic came into the US Open under more pressure than ever, particularly neither Federer or Nadal competing.
The 34-year-old was seen as the overriding favourite, but that pressure clearly had an effect on Djokovic in the early rounds.
Kei Nishikori, Jenson Brooksby and Matteo Berrettini all took an early lead against the iconic tennis star before losing in four sets.
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But a hard-fought win to avenge his loss at the Olympics against Alexander Zverev in five sets looked to have reinvigorated Djokovic’s hopes of creating history.
Standing in his way though was a man whose best surface is arguably the hard courts in North America.
The Russian had only dropped one set on his way to the final and had Djokovic on the back foot early in their hotly-anticipated encounter.
And Medvedev went on to slump to the floor after beating Djokovic in straight sets, with the latter reduced to tears on the side of the court.
Speaking after the match, Djokovic reflected on his missed opportunity to win the Calendar Slam.
When asked what his immediate emotions were to the press later, Djokovic said: “Relief.
“I was glad it was over because the build-up for this tournament and everything that mentally, emotionally I had to deal with throughout the tournament in the last couple of weeks was just a lot. It was a lot to handle.”
Sunday’s final was the ninth meeting between Djokovic and Medvedev and the latter has long enjoyed good success in their matches.
Djokovic had lost three of the last five ties against Medvedev heading into the final and he admits his game wasn’t at the right level to improve that record.
“My legs were not there. I was trying. I did my best. Yeah, I made a lot of unforced errors. I didn’t have — no serve really,” he added.
“If you’re playing someone like Medvedev who hits his spots so well, just aces, gets a lot of free points on his first serve, you’re constantly feeling pressure on your service games.
“I was below par with everything, to be honest. So just one of these days where unfortunately, yeah, wasn’t meant to be.”
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