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Novak Djokovic stunned in pursuit of calendar Grand Slam as Daniil Medvedev wins US Open final in straight sets

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NOVAK DJOKOVIC’S history push was destroyed – along with his racket.

The Serb world No1 was aiming to win a record 21st Major and become the first man since Aussie legend Rod Laver in 1969 to win all four Grand Slams in a year.

Reuters

Novak Djokovic was stopped in his pursuit of the calendar Grand Slam at the final hurdle[/caption]

AP

Daniil Medvedev is the US Open champion after a near-faultless display in the final[/caption]

EPA

Djokovic smashed his racket early in the second set as his frustrations boiled[/caption]

But a cocktail of the brilliance of Daniil Medvedev and the weight of expectation produced another sensational result here just 24 hours after British superstar Emma Raducanu stunned the tennis world.

The Russian won 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in two hours and 16 minutes at Flushing Meadows and, in the end, totally deserved it.

Djokovic never seemed to recover from a flashpoint in the second set when music started playing over the PA system in the middle of a rally when looking to break for the first time.

The umpire ordered to replay the point but the Serb was absolutely seething and took his rage out on his racket after eventually missing his chance.

From that point on, he was unable to get a foothold in his 31st Major final as the excellent Russian  – who served like a dream despite being broken for the first time when serving for the title – won his first big crown at the third attempt. 

Medvedev has tasted Grand Slam final heartache twice including in Australia earlier this year and was desperate to make amends.

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The Serb has been starting edgily over the past two weeks – he is just the second player ever to earn four victories from one set down en route to a final.

That, however, hurt Djokovic – he came into this clash having spent a whopping 17 hours 26 minutes on court compared to almost 12 hours for his opponent.

And, sure enough, it was the Russian who started like a steam train, bagging an early break which set the foundation to take the opener.

Was the weight of history weighing down the irrepressible world No1?

The unforced errors were flying off his racket but it was nip and tuck at a ram-packed Arthur Ashe Stadium with the New York crowd roaring the 34-year-old on towards his quest for history.

At 2-1, the Serb lost his mind. It was a crucial moment but Djokovic was seething and after losing the game he smashed his tennis racket on the court like a madman. 

His mood wasn’t helped when Med broke him for 3-2 and from that point onwards, the Serb looked like he’d seen a ghost.

The world No2 was serving with fantastic power and once the second set was in the bag and an early break in the third sealed the deal for Medvedev, who celebrated his wedding anniversary with the greatest result – and performance – of his life.

An emotional Djokovic, holding back the tears, has always complained about the fans never showing him enough love in the Big Apple.

But with him being so far behind in the match, everyone got behind the Serb – and it all got a bit too much.

He said: “Tonight even though I haven’t won the match I am so happy because the fans made me feel so alive on the court.

“You guys touched my soul, I have never felt like this in New York before.”

Medvedev, the losing finalist here in 2019, said: “I knew what Novak was going for and he is the greatest champion in our sport.

“But I also got a lot of energy from the crowd.

“It is my wedding anniversary and I haven’t had time to get a present so I thought I need to win and then I will be able to give Dasha the trophy.”

AFP

The Russian No2 seed put on a masterclass in serving on Arthur Ashe Stadium[/caption]

EPA

James Corden was among the long list of celebrities in the crowd at Flushing Meadows[/caption]

The Russian collapsed to the ground and stuck his tongue out in celebration
Getty
Getty

There was plenty of respect between the pair at the net after the match[/caption]



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