- Medvedev said he was trying to make sure Djokovic wouldn’t notice that he had cramps
- The Russian won the year’s final major 6-4 6-4 6-4, though the straight-sets victory was anything but routine
- He thus ended Djokovic’s bid for a calendar yead Grand Slam, winning his first major title in the process
Daniil Medvedev revealed that he had started cramping in trying to serve out the US Open final against Novak Djokovic at 5-3 and “almost couldn’t walk” at 5-4. The 25-year-old Russian beat 20-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to win his first major title.
He thus ended Djokovic’s bid to win a historic calendar year Grand Slam and his 21st major title that would have take the Serbian World No.1 past his historic rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer’s record.
“I started cramping at 5-3, I think because of the pressure at 5-2 where I had match points, I didn’t make it,” Medvedev told reporters after the match. “My legs were gone after 5-3. At 5-4, left leg, I almost couldn’t walk.”
“If you really look the replay, when I walked to the towel, my leg was just going behind. I was trying not to show it. If Novak feels it, it’s not good,” he said.
Medvedev had lost the final of the 2019 US Open to Nadal and was beaten in straight sets by Djokovic in the final of this year’s Australian Open.
Ranked second behind Djokovic in the ATP rankings, Medvedev had dropped just one set on the way to the final and ripped through each of his first four matches in under two hours, determined to finally get his hands on a Grand Slam trophy.
“For the confidence and for my future career, knowing that I beat somebody who was 27-0 in a year in Grand Slams, I lost to him in Australia, he was going for huge history, and knowing that I managed to stop him it definitely makes it sweeter and brings me confidence for what is to come on hard courts,” he said. “But let’s see about other surfaces.”