US Open 2023: Djokovic defeats Medvedev and achieves his 24th major | Tennis | Sports


Novak Djokovic was proclaimed US Open champion this Sunday after beating Daniil Medvedev in the final at the Arthur Ashe by 6-3, 7-6(5) and 6-3, in 3h 17m. In this way, the Serbian celebrates his fourth title in New York and adds another great one to his locker, the 24th, thus putting more ground in the way with respect to his immediate pursuer, Rafael Nadal (22). . This is the third major who conquers this season, in which at 36 years old he continues to demonstrate that his tennis retains all its essence. He alone did not succeed at Wimbledon, where he still played in the final against Carlos Alcaraz.

Impressive, Djokovic continues to win and collect records, the latter superior. With her twenty-fourth trophy she equals the historical record of the Australian Margaret Court, who defended the figure alone since her victory in the US Open in 1973. But it does not stop there. The one from Belgrade is the oldest champion of the tournament – ​​Ken Rosewall was 35 years old in 1970 – and in turn becomes the first player to win three Grand Slams four times in the same year: 2011, 2015, 2021 and 2023. Sign Throughout the entire route – he only suffered when he lost two sets against Laslo Djere in the third round – he triumphed again in Flushing Meadows, where he had not won since 2018.

At the beginning, the Serbian flutters around the New York headquarters as if he had just left the spa. Fresh on his legs and impeccable with his blows, directing with judgment, a small handful of exchanges are enough for him to make it clear that he wants to dominate, that he does not allow mistakes or strange turns, that what he sees ahead is too juicy and has already escaped him. in July at Wimbledon against Alcaraz, so on this occasion no error is allowed. He can not. “At this point, every final I play could be my last,” he states transcendentally. Rather than walking, he levitates, and before thrashing he answers a couple of questions with a post-coital voice like he has climaxed, whispery and silky. He is an ecstatic and serene Nole. The ogre has stayed in the locker room. Under that format, he is practically unbreakable.

He even applies up to twenty bounces to the ball when he goes to serve and Medvedev, a guy who prefers to do things quickly, tells him with a sharp look that he is not in any hurry either and that he will be there whatever is needed. That’s Russian. The same thing is a lightning bolt – two canisters are enough – or another heavy manual. Although he gives up the quick serve and falls behind in the first set, in which the Balkan does not offer a single crack, he reengages with guts and the duel leads to endless exchanges and games. One of them, already the second round, stretches for 23 minutes and gives him his first option to break, but here goes Djokovic, a tennis player by profession but who could very well have been a firefighter. Putting out fires, few like him.

The 27-year-old Russian forces him again and again. A bit languid in the first section, he recovers the fronton that he reduced to Alcaraz two days before and refutes until exhaustion. Beautiful, exciting points are witnessed, resolved from power to power; Each setback is followed by another more precise one, and each approach responds to the one in front with greater intention. They are two quarrelsome people – understand that – who enjoy challenging each other. Medvedev presses and presses, while Djokovic’s gestures become twisted and the fussing begins to be a constant: he falls to the ground, touches his ischium, stretches when he goes to the chair and breathes as if he were going to collapse. In a final, every gesture counts.

The mother squeezes the medallion around her neck tightly because her son is suffering and the second set seems decisive. It is to be or not to be, surely. If you give it up, the consequences can be dire. He cools himself with the ventilation tube, wraps himself in ice towels. He’s having a bad time. The Russian smells blood, so he attacks. But he is wrong. When he manages to win the point that would grant him the set, he chooses poorly, and instead of throwing the parallel backhand and taking advantage of the immense valley that that side of the court shows, he crosses and Nole intercepts the flight of the ball to volley. He is not one of those who forgives the Belgrade team, which admits of little comparison when it comes to tiebreaker luck: 26-5 this season. The specialist, with capital letters.

Now, the pain changes its shore and all the evils hit Medvedev. The giant, shirtless, writhes when the physio massages his left deltoid, but what really hurts him is his soul. He knows perfectly well that the final happened there. It was that or nothing. He is practically groggy. Even so, he is still there and glorifies, but without much faith. That was the train. Passed. And Djokovic, already licking his lips, returns after the exchange of breaks in the third bundle and closes with a lavish display at the net – 37 hits in 44 approaches –, conceding a single break. On a permanent journey towards infinity and collecting more and more numerical distinctions, her hunger remains intact and trapped and Court plans how to leave it behind. Nadal is two down and surely Australia is already on his mind.

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