‘I’m just happy to win a major’
Being disrupted by hecklers while serving for the match only made Daniil Medvedev's first Grand Slam title that much sweeter when it came Sunday at the expense of Novak Djokovic in the US Open final.
World number two Medvedev ripped top-ranked Djokovic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to deny the Serbian star the first Grand Slam sweep since 1969 and a men's record 21st career major title.
"He definitely was not at his best. We saw him playing better," Medvedev said. "Question is, if he would be, would I be able to cope up with him? We can never know now. I'm just happy to win. "
The 34-year-old Djokovic was trying to become the first man in over a half-century to win all four majors (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, U.S. Open) in the same year.
It would have made him only the third man to achieve the feat after Don Budge (1938) and Rod Laver (1962 and 1969), who was watching from a courtside seat.
"It's a tough one to swallow, this loss, considering everything that was on the line," said Djokovic. "I was glad it was over because the build-up for this tournament and everything that mentally, emotionally I had to deal with throughout the tournament in the last couple of weeks was just a lot. It was a lot to handle."
The breakthrough came in Medvedev's third Slam final after losses to Rafael Nadal in the 2019 US Open final and Djokovic in February's Australian Open final.
"A lot of happiness. That's my first Grand Slam," Medvedev said. "So I'm really happy. Means a lot to me. I'm definitely going to be celebrating the next few days."
It also came after some spectators tried to disrupt him as he served for the match in the final set. Medvedev double faulted on two match points before hitting a service winner for the triumph. "It was definitely tough. I knew that the only thing I can do is focus. They wanted to see their guy win a calendar Grand Slam," Medvedev said.
Medvedev has never been ranked higher than second, but there's a sense his Slam breakthrough might inspire a fight to claim the number one spot -- one day.
"I'm just happy to win a major," he said. "That's not my first goal in my mind to try to achieve it this year. If I manage to do it one day, it's great."
Medvedev's coach, Frenchman Gilles Cervara, expects to see a higher level. "To beat Novak, in Grand Slam, it's a big thing. In final, it's another big thing," Cervara said. "I guess it will makes him be at another level also. For sure it will be different."