It wasn't the final that everyone anticipated at the 2023 US Open, but still, it was one of the best matchups that we could currently see on the ATP Tour. The two protagonists of Sunday's final met already 14 times before, with the Serb winning nine of those previous matches.
However, there is one particular loss that he certainly remembers. Back in 2021, the experienced Serb was on the verge of completing a Calendar Grand Slam, but he was stopped in the US Open final by none other than Daniil Medvedev.
Two years later, Djokovic was on the verge of making history once again, this time by winning the 24th Grand Slam title, and equalling Margaret Court's all-time record. And once again, it was the Russian who could stop him from doing so.
The 36-year-old thought that he underperformed back in 2021, and that's why he wanted to avoid thinking about the 24th Grand Slam title this time around. After Medvedev played one of his best matches to eliminate the top-seeded Carlos Alcaraz, many wondered whether he'd bring the same level also to the final.
Well, he didn't, at least not in the first set. Medvedev produced 12 unforced errors, while the Serbian had the same amount of winners. Moreover, the Russian totally missed the start of the match, and after his opponent earned a one-break advantage, he never lost it, winning the opening set 6-3.
The second set was a real marathon, and it was played for one hour and 45 minutes. Both players had multiple chances, but the majority of those remained unused. While Djokovic had one break point, Medvedev had too, and one of them was also a set point.
But when the third seed chose where to put his backhand, he chose the body of his opponent instead of the line, and with his quick hands, Djokovic responded quickly, saving the set point and sending the second set into a tie-break.
Medvedev had an early chance, jumping into a 3-1 lead, but once again, Djokovic managed to recover, taking over the control of the tie-break to win it 7-5, and establish already a 2-0 lead. After that, the Serbian left the court and returned with a clear goal, win the third set and lift his 24th Grand Slam title.
Early in the third set, fans at the Arthur Ashe Stadium saw a very unlucky moment when Medvedev slipped and fell down. However, Djokovic was quick to offer help, but he wasn't so helpful after that, causing a lot of trouble to his opponent once again.
Djokovic broke Medvedev's serve, but the Russian came right back, re-breaking his opponent. But the 36-year-old added one more break, and this time, he confirmed it with a hold of serve.
At 5-3, Djokovic was serving for the championships for the first time in the match, and he didn't disappoint his fans. He won the game to win the match 6-3, 7-6(5), 6-3, and secure the 2023 US Open title, which is also his 24th Grand Slam trophy.