The grumpy people will say that it’s a Serbian train that arrives on time, so what’s the point of elaborating? The others refuse to trivialize the figures. Sunday September 10, Novak Djokovic played his 36th at the US Opene final in 72 Grand Slams (one in two, therefore). His tenth in his last 11 Majors. His fourth of the year. And, for the 24e time in his career, the Serbian left with the trophy of one of the four most prestigious tournaments of the season, winner of Daniil Medvedev (6-3, 7-6, 6-3).
The outcome of the fortnight between the world numbers 2 and 3 only occasionally lived up to the promises, in a remake of the 2021 final which saw the tall, lanky Russian (1.98 m) lift his first and only Grand Slam title. But the context, this year, had nothing to do with it.
Two years ago, Djokovic was one step away from the ultimate Grail in tennis: winning all four Grand Slams in a calendar year. Signing the calendar Grand Slam meant venturing onto peaks only explored by the Australian Rod Laver in the Open era (from April 1968, when the tournaments were open to professionals and amateurs alike). This September 12, 2021, the Serbian robot suddenly takes human form, overtaken by the weight of history, which usually transcends him. During the last change of sides, seeing his dream slip away from him, he burst into tears under his towel. The unloved king receives an unprecedented ovation from a public who have always preferred Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
In 2021, again, Djokovic arrived at Flushing Meadow exhausted by the Olympic high m in Tokyo. This time, he only played – and won – the Cincinnati tournament as preparation. This did not escape the sagacity of Medvedev, who expected to see a vengeful Djokovic arrive on the court. “The only way I can [me servir de] the 2021 final is to think that Novak, when he loses, is no longer the same, he has a different mentality. (…) So I have to expect him to be ten times better than he was that day. And if I want to beat him, I have to be ten times better than I was that day,” summed up the 27-year-old on Friday.
Djokovic master cl
The preventer of going in circles this time did not succeed in finding himself ” in the zone “, as in his semi-final, two days earlier, against Carlos Alcaraz. The young Murcian (20 years old) found himself trapped by this “octopus” of Medvedev – a nickname given to him by his devious mind and his tentacular arms reminiscent of the nine-brained cephalopod: he, in his words, “lost my mind”…and his place as world number one with it. The title holder abandoned his throne to Djokovic, with whom he spent the season exchanging it. It is also the Spaniard who this year deprived the Serb of arriving at Flushing Meadow in the race for the calendar Grand Slam, winner at Wimbledon in July of his second Major title.
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