Novak Djokovic wins the US Open title at the age of 36

Novak Djokovic won the men’s US Open final on Sunday, cementing his place as one of the sport’s greatest players and cementing his status as the athlete with the most men’s Grand Slam titles.

At 36, Djokovic is of retirement age in professional tennis. But on Sunday afternoon in a New York park, he gave a master class on winning, his body never wavering, his determination ice-cold.

The numbers of the Serb’s straight-set victories against Russian Daniil Medvedev (27) could reveal the nature of the final, an unwavering point-for-point battle between the best.

The younger player was far from overpowered, but there were moments when it looked like Medvedev had the older body of the two, his legs cold and short in stride. At one point in the game, he called out a coach.

But it was Djokovic’s calm and concentration that prevailed on crucial points at Arthur Ashe Stadium, and he won the match 6-3, 7-6, 6-3.

The tiebreaker in the second set was a wrestling match that no one conceded. Medvedev appeared to change the dynamic by winning a rally of half-volleys and drop shots in the middle of the court to take a 5-4 lead in the tiebreak.

In fact, the Russian tried to take the game to Djokovic by challenging him at the net, but Djokovic responded with sometimes perfect shots, eventually taking the tiebreak and the set and setting himself up for the straight-sets win.

The third and final set was almost entirely Djokovic highlights. Even when he lost a point, Djokovic had the audience cheering. At 5-2, he led the near-split jump after a ball without success after using his shotgun forehand to move Medvedev around the court at will.

The victory may have been a comeuppance for the champion, who lost to Medvedev in the final of the 2021 US Open.

This Russian thwarted Djokovic’s attempt to win all four major championships in one calendar year, a rare feat last accomplished by Rod Laver in the men’s open competition in 1969.

The Serb’s victory on Sunday gave him another year that narrowly missed a Grand Slam. In July he lost an epic five-set final to 20-year-old Carlos Alcaraz on the eternal ryegrass of Wimbledon.

Friday at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Djokovic sent the American Blake Shelton straight ahead.

The last American to win a singles title at Flushing Meadows, the Queens city park that has hosted the tournament since 1978, was Andy Roddick in 2003.

In 2008, Djokovic announced his campaign for a place in tennis history by winning the Australian Open, a victory that ushered in 15 years of near-dominance in the game, a run that might have gone unchallenged but for his rivalry with another history-maker would have stayed. Contemporary Rafael Nadal.

The Spaniard announced earlier this year that he expected to officially retire from football in 2024 due to injury.

Djokovich first won the US Open in 2011.

His last major championship victory at the French in June was Djokovic’s 23rd and moved him to the top of the list of men with the most Grand Slam titles after he matched Nadal’s 22 wins at the Australians in January.

This French Open title was the 23rd major singles title for Djokovic, breaking a tie with his long-time rival Rafael Nadal, winner of 22 Grand Slam titles.

During Djokovic’s long career, his name regularly appeared in the same sentence as 20-time major winner Roger Federer and Nadal. Federer withdrew from major competitions last year and Nadal could soon retire.

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