NEW YORK: In what could be termed as one of the most remarkable clashes in hard court tennis history, considering the things that were at stake, US Open final reflected the full circle of life that cares about no one but the time.
With two out of the big three (Nadal, Federer) missing the final grand slam of the year, all eyes were awaiting a historic title win by Novak, that would have given him first calendar year Grand Slam in men’s tennis since 1969 (by winning all four grand slams of the year)and a record breaking 21st title to become the most successful tennis player of all time. Novak this time was just not enough to beat the World no. 2 as it was a clinical win for Medvedev in straight sets (6-4, 6-4, 6-4).
The match not only witnessed the majestic aces and cross-court smashes from the 6 foot 6 Russian but it was the crowd at flushing meadows that made it one of the most memorable clashes of all time. The crowd was all heart for Novak when he was down , trailing in the biggest match of his career and that made the World no. 1 come down to tears for all the love that he got about which he said in post match presentation that “I felt something I never felt in my life here in New York. The crowd made me very special. They pleasantly surprised me. I did not know, I did not expect anything, but the amount of support and energy and love I got from the crowd was something that I’ll remember forever”.
Medvedev looked all in for his third finals’ appearance in a major tournament this year that also includes a crashing loss to Djokovic in Australian Open . But this time he was not ready to miss out on the title as he indicated at the start of US Open that ‘he’s just not here to let Djokovic win the championship’, however that didn’t prevent him to show his humbleness and sportsman spirit at the presentation ceremony where he was all praise for the World no 1 saying “I never said this to anybody, but I’ll say it right now. For me, you are the greatest tennis player in history.”
The final Grand Slam of 2021 also witnessed historic firsts as along with Medvedev’s maiden title, a teenager from Britain, Emma Raducanu, became the first British woman in 44 years to win Grand Slam title and the first qualifier to win a major.
Perhaps, the chance to win all four grand slams in an year may not come soon for Djokovic as it requires 28 consecutive wins to achieve this feat, but he has still a lot of tennis left in him before he bids final goodbye to the sport.
With curtains down for 2021 tennis calendar year , 2022 is all set to witness the GOAT (greatest of all time) rivalry taking shape once again as Nadal and Federer makes a comeback at the court next year.