NEW YORK (Reuters) -Novak Djokovic’s quest for a record 21st major title that would have completed the calendar year Grand Slam collapsed at the final hurdle in a stunning 6-4 6-4 6-4 defeat by Russian Daniil Medvedev in the U.S. Open final on Sunday.
Medvedev, playing in his third major final, at last hoisted a Grand Slam trophy while avenging a straight sets defeat by Djokovic earlier this year in the Australian Open final.
The 34-year-old Serb was trying to become the first man in over a half-century to win all four majors (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, U.S. Open) in the same year.
It would have made him only the third man to achieve the feat after Don Budge (1938) and Rod Laver (1962 and 1969), who was watching from a courtside seat.
“It’s a tough one to swallow, this loss, considering everything that was on the line,” said Djokovic.
“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.
Photo Daniil Medvedev of Russia holds up the championship trophy after defeating Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the men’s final match on the fourteenth day of the US Open Tennis Championships at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York, USA, 12 September 2021.