Legends Hail Daniil Medvedev as Russian Star Ends Novak Djokovic's Calendar Slam Dream at US Open
09:47 GMT 13.09.2021 (Updated: 11:21 GMT 13.09.2021)
World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev made history, becoming the third Russian man ever to win a Grand Slam title with a sensational 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 triumph over top-seeded Novak Djokovic in the US Open final on Sunday. Russia's two other former World No. 1 champions are Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Marat Safin.
Tennis greats, including Boris Becker, Rod Laver and Billie Jean King, have reacted to Daniil Medvedev's stunning victory over World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in New York, as the 25-year-old Moscow-born professional stopped the Serbian star from becoming the first man in 52 years to win all four Grand Slams in a season.
Medvedev's straight sets win not only prevented Djokovic from joining Rod Laver (1969) in an elite list of players, who have won a Calendar Slam in the modern era, but also kept him tied with Swiss maestro Roger Federer and King of Clay Rafael Nadal, both of whom have 20 Grand Slam titles.
The greats of the sport were mightily impressed by Medvedev's unexpected win, considering Djokovic had won 27 consecutive matches in Grand Slams, and was the firm favourite to claim his fourth successive Major crown after his triumphs at the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon earlier in the year.
While Laver called his display as "stunning" before congratulating him for his maiden Grand Slam title, Becker said that the Russian's win is now a "part of history". On the other hand, King hailed him for playing "spectacular" tennis.
Former US Open champions Andy Roddick of the US and Argentina's Gabriela Sabatini gave a shout out to Medvedev's for his "match strategy" and "unbelievable" show against Djokovic. Austria's Dominic Thiem and Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro also praised the second seed for his near perfect show in the final.
Djokovic was far from his best in the tournament, particularly in the final as he made 38 unforced errors to Medvedev's 27, failed to take advantage of five of six break points on offer and won only 40 percent points behind his second serve.
Eventually, Djokovic's timid performance proved to be his undoing in the contest as he handed a comfortable one-sided win to his opponent in two hours and 15 minutes.
Like many others, Medvedev was in awe of his display before declaring Djokovic the "greatest player in history".
"You never know if you're going to achieve [winning a major] in your career. I was always saying if I don't, I just want to know that I did my best to do it...[I feel] a lot of happiness. That's my first Grand Slam. I don't know how I'm going to feel if I win a second one or third one. That's my first one, so I'm really happy. Means a lot to me."
"First of all I want to say sorry to you fans and Novak. We all know what he was going for today. I've never said this to anybody, but I will say it right now. For me, you are the greatest tennis player in history," he added.