Novak Djokovic and Coco Gauff were machines at the US Open

There are many ways to win in tennis. Novak Djokovic has found them all. Coco Gauff can still do it However, one day she found the right thing for this US Open. While Djokovic has had to vary his game at different points to overcome different challenges, the truth remains essentially the same as the day he showed up. It’s almost impossible to hit the ball past him and he almost never misses.

That was clear to see in Sunday’s men’s final, just as it was when Gauff destroyed everything Aryna Sabalenka had to offer on Saturday and finally turned around the latter’s brain to pulp. Djokovic’s opponent, Danil Medvedev, has many of the same problems as Djoker, as he generally stands in row H of the first deck to return serves and most groundstrokes against him. His game may be better than Djokovic’s at times, but it relies on his incredible defense and accurate groundstrokes.

But so few will surpass Djokovic. There are probably only two men on the planet who have achieved this, at least at a Grand Slam. They are Rafael Nadal, whose body is showing the wear and tear of that, and Carlos Alcaraz at Wimbledon in July, whose body hasn’t had a chance yet.

This final was all about two very stubborn, very flexible and very determined players eyeing each other. And even though Djokovic won in straight sets, it still took him almost three and a half hours to do so. The highlight of this pit fight was the second set, which took almost half the time of the entire match, which Djokovic won in a tiebreak. There are nerve-wracking and soul-wrenching rallies like:

Or so:

Or so:

It wasn’t so much tennis as it was an endurance event mixed with a competition, with a dash of rugby scrum.

Medvedev only had three chances to break Djokovic and only took advantage of one of them. Despite making Djokovic work so hard, and he really did, the now 24-time Grand Slam champ never gave in, let alone withered away. Medvedev can claim to be one of the men who stopped Djokovic at a Slam, beating him when Djoker was gunning for the calendar Grand Slam two years ago, but that is now looking more and more like an anomaly. For once, Djokovic actually looked and played exhausted.

Medvedev scored at that exact moment after the second set tiebreak, as did Sabalenka at the start of the second set on Saturday, where he failedmes Clearly they did it I realized that there is no way through. You can be as patient as possible, as careful as possible, wait for their moment, and the person on the other side of the net will just keep getting it back. And they aim at smaller and smaller targets and windows, nestling closer and closer to the lines until the dam breaks. The mistakes pile up, the break opportunities are used and it’s all over.

Who knows where this will end for Djokovic. At this point in Federer and Nadal’s careers, their bodies began to take a toll on them. The only thing really standing in Djokovic’s way is his own stubbornness, either flouting vaccination laws in Australia and the US or accidentally hitting a linesman with the ball after a frustrated smash following a match loss in 2020. It’s a metronome.

Djokovic can do so much on the court. His serve has improved a lot. His forehand has become the weapon that his backhand always was. He is much better at the net than he is given credit for and when he needs to be. He is the greatest returner the game has ever seen. But sometimes it comes down to the fact that in some tournaments a ball just can’t be hit past him. Keep getting the ball back, generally good things happen.

-Couldn’t agree more:

-To Geno Smith, reacting about the same way we all would if Aaron Donald came charging at us:


– And now to our hero of the week.

OK ,Yes, Just a charity game, but that’s being prepared.

Follow Sam on Twitter @Felsgate and on Bluesky Novak Djokovic and Coco Gauff were machines at the US Open

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