Daniil Medvedev won the men’s U.S. Open final Sunday, handily beating out world No. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. Djokovic, who until Sunday night had won every match he played this year, took to the court at Arthur Ashe Stadium to attempt to make history twice over. If he had won the match, he would have not only become the fourth player ever to win a perfect four-title, calendar-year Grand Slam—the last time that happened was in 1968—but also overtaken Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal with a record 21 major titles.
Instead, it was the 25-year-old Russian’s night. Djokovic did receive a standing ovation as he walked onto the court but went the entire match without ever quite finding his footing. Medvedev was in rare form, breaking the Serb’s serve in the opening game and refusing to let up, winning 90 percent of his first serves. 2021’s Open is the Russian’s first major tournament win. “If there is anyone who deserves a Grand Slam title right now, it’s you,” Djokovic told a moved Medvedev during the post-game conference. “My heart is filled with joy and I’m the happiest man alive because you guys made me feel very special on the court.”