Novak Djokovic wins in US Open his 24th Grand Slam: “When are you going to stop?”
NEW YORK – What Daniil Medvedev admires most about Novak Djokovic’s career is his ability to break into an era conquered and dominated by two huge names. It was during the era of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal that Djokovic built his way to get almost all the records of the Spaniard and the Swiss. And several of those he has not been able to break, he is likely to go on the hunt for them with that incombustibility at 36 years of age.
This rainy afternoon in New York, with the Arthur Ashe converted into an indoor court, the Serb reached the most important mark. Today, if we are just talking about numbers, there is no longer any argument to deny that Djokovic is the best of all time after his 6-2, 7-6(5), 6-3 victory over the Russian in the New York final.
Medvedev asked Djokovic with that fantastic humor he has: “What are you still doing here, Novak, when are you going to stop?”.
Novak Djokovic wins US Open his 24th Grand Slam
Djokovic thus won his 24th Grand Slam and tied the record of Margaret Court, the Australian who cultivated her collection of major trophies in times of transition: thirteen of them when tennis wasn’t professional, eleven during the Open Era.
And in the ultra-professional times of the 21st century, when even things like the temperature of the water drunk in the morning matter when it comes to performance on a tennis court, the number of major trophies is more valuable to meassure greatness. In the past, great players could choose to play an exhibition instead of Roland Garros, or take Australia off the calendar because of the difficulty of transportation and time zones.
❤️ Lo entendió todo.
De Djokovic para Kobe.
🔝 El homenaje del Grand Slam 24 al eterno 24.
♾️ Mamba forever. pic.twitter.com/RfYT2vGemU
— Relevo (@relevo) September 11, 2023
There is no need to compare eras. They were all the best. What is true is that every time the details matter more and more, and there was a great little detail in the Serb’s mind that lies in the same historical topic: when Djokovic thought about history, his tennis disappeared. Two years earlier Medvedev himself denied him his fourth Grand Slam of the year. What only Rod Laver, Court and Steffi Graf did in the Open Era. In 2023 the goal was not to have the legends in mind.
Djokovic started strong, with a break at zero that was enough to win the first set. The second, of very long exchanges, was one of those battles that are well worth a championship: the Serb showed many times signs of fatigue after the rallies, reached his chair walking crouched, and once lay down in the middle of the court. It looked like Medvedev was going to level the match, but the now four-time US Open champion held on, used wisely his serve-and-volley to save energy, and took a set that lasted 104 minutes.
The third set was more like the first, with that statistic repeated over and over again. That the Serb only lost once in Grand Slams after he went 2-0 up. And history, that word that is already abused in every chronicle written about Djokovic, was not set for uncommon outcomes. It’s already 24. The only thing that matters.