Novak Djokovic defeats Daniil Medvedev, equaling Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam victories

Novak Djokovic beat Daniil Medvedev in the men's final of the 2023 US Open. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Novak Djokovic beat Daniil Medvedev in the men’s final of the 2023 US Open. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Novak Djokovic has set one of the most unattainable records in tennis: Margaret Court’s 24 Grand Slam victories.

With his 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 victory over Daniil Medvedev, Djokovic won his fourth US Open trophy and his 24th Grand Slam title overall. He is one major title away from holding the most Grand Slam titles of all time, male or female.

Djokovic looked strong early on and took advantage of initial nervousness from Medvedev, who made three unforced errors and lost a point to Djokovic with a double fault in the first two games. Medvedev recovered to take a 30-0 lead in the third game before Djokovic stormed back to win four straight points to win the third game.

In the fourth game, it was Djokovic’s turn to be sloppy. Two unforced errors from Djokovic gave Medvedev a win, making it 3-1 in favor of Djokovic. After another unforced error from Djokovic early in the fifth game, he fought back in a back-and-forth fifth game to take a 4-1 lead.

Djokovic and Medvedev split the next two games.

Medvedev tried to fight his way back into the set and took the score to 5:3 in the next game, but Djokovic quickly put an end to this momentum and won the first set 6:3.

Medvedev got off to a better start in the second set and won the first game. He and Djokovic won the first five games, with Medvedev leading 3-2. Despite being ahead in the set, Medvedev still struggled with double faults. In the first five games of the second set, Medvedev had five double faults.

Djokovic won the next game and increased the score to 3-3 in the second set. With both players tied at 40-40 in the seventh game of the second set, a 31-shot rally ensued, with Djokovic falling to the ground so he could catch his breath.

Medvedev eventually won that game and took a 4-3 lead against Djokovic in the second set. Djokovic fought back in a long eighth game to equalize. The two then took turns in the next three games, giving Medvedev a 6-5 lead and the set going into the twelfth game. The match lasted more than two hours before the second set ended.

Djokovic won the next game and sent the second set to a tiebreak. After another long game, Djokovic prevailed and won the second set, which lasted an hour and 44 minutes. It was the longest set at the US Open in 2023.

Djokovic took a 3-1 lead at the start of the third set and had a good chance of securing his 24th Grand Slam victory. But Medvedev wouldn’t go out that easily. He won the fifth game of the set 3-2. From then on, Djokovic took control. He quickly won the next two games and led 5-2.

Medvedev rallied to win the eighth game of the third set, but the comeback ended there. Djokovic won the next game, taking the set 6-3 and winning his 24th Grand Slam.

Novak Djokovic dominated his opponents at the 2023 US Open

While the world waited for a seemingly preordained final between Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz, Djokovic just kept playing. With the exception of one match, he beat all of his opponents in three sets and only reached a tiebreak in one. The only game that gave him problems was in the third round against fellow Serbian Laslo Djere. Djokovic lost the first two sets 6-4 before recovering and staging a furious comeback, finishing the match 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 and moving on.

Ultimately, it didn’t matter who Djokovic faced in the final. Whether Alcaraz or Medvedev, nothing would change. He would still do his thing, they would do their best to stop him, and they would probably fail. That’s exactly what happened. Medvedev could not defeat Djokovic, who at his best is like the humidity in New York in recent weeks: inevitable and oppressive.

That’s what makes Djokovic so fearsome as an opponent, even at 36 years old. He can handle anything that is thrown at him on the tennis court. He has almost unlimited comeback abilities. And it doesn’t look like he’s slowing down any time soon. There’s no reason to believe he won’t be in top form in four months to challenge for his record-equalling 25th Grand Slam title.

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