Novak Djokovic has tied what has been considered one of the most unreachable records in tennis: Margaret Court’s 24 Grand Slam wins.
With his 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 win over Daniil Medvedev, Djokovic has won fourth US Open trophy and his 24th Grand Slam title overall. He’s just one major title away from holding the most Grand Slam titles of anyone in history, man or woman.
Djokovic looked strong early, taking advantage of some early nerves by Medvedev, who made three unforced errors and lost a point on a double fault to Djokovic the first two games. Medvedev recovered in the third game, going up 30-0 before Djokovic stormed back and won four straight points to take the third game.
It was Djokovic’s turn to be sloppy in the fourth game. Two unforced errors by Djokovic gave Medvedev a win, making it 3-1 in favor of Djokovic. After another unforced error by Djokovic to start off the fifth game, he battled back in a back-and-forth game five to go up 4-1.
Djokovic and Medvedev split the next two games.
Medvedev tried to rally his way back into the set, taking the next game to make it 5-3, but Djokovic quickly put an end to that surge, taking the first set 6-3.
Medvedev got off to a better start in the second set, taking the first game. He and Djokovic traded wins in the first five games, with Medvedev leading 3-2. Despite being ahead in the set, Medvedev still struggled with double faults. Through the first five games of the second set, Medvedev had five double faults.
Djokovic took the next game, making it 3-3 in the second set. With both players locked at 40-40 in the seventh game of the second set, there was a 31-shot rally that caused Djokovic to fall to the ground so he could catch his breath.
Medvedev eventually won that game, and took a 4-3 lead on Djokovic in the second set. Djokovic battled back in a lengthy eighth game to tie things up. The two then traded the next three games, putting Medvedev up 6-5 and sending the set to a 12th game. The match exceeded two hours before the second set ended.
Djokovic won the the next game, sending the second set into a tiebreak. After another lengthy game, Djokovic prevailed, taking the second set, which lasted an hour and 44 minutes. It was the longest set at the U.S. Open in 2023.
Djokovic jumped ahead 3-1 to begin the third set, putting him in strong position to snag his 24th Grand Slam win. But Medvedev would not go out that easily. He won the fifth game in the set, making it 3-2. From there, Djokovic took control. He quickly won the next two games games to go up 5-2.
Medvedev rallied to take the eighth game of the third set, but the comeback ended there. Djokovic won the next game, taking the set 6-3 and winning his 24th Grand Slam.
Novak Djokovic dominated opponents at 2023 U.S. Open
While the world awaited what felt like a predestined finals match between Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz, Djokovic just continued playing. With the exception of one match, he beat all of his competitors in three sets, going to a tiebreak in just one of them. The only match that gave him trouble was in the third round against fellow Serbian Laslo Djere. Djokovic lost the first two sets 6-4 before finding himself and mounting a furious comeback to finish 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 and move on.
In the end, it didn’t matter who Djokovic faced in the final. Whether it was Alcaraz or Medvedev, nothing would change. He’d still do his thing, they’d do the best they could to stop him, and they would likely fail. Which is what happened. Medvedev couldn’t overcome Djokovic, who at his best is like the humidity in New York over the past few weeks: Inescapable and suffocating.
That’s what makes Djokovic so terrifying as an opponent, even at 36 years old. He can handle anything that’s thrown at him on the tennis court. He has near-infinite comeback powers. And he doesn’t look like he’ll be slowing down anytime soon. There’s no reason to think he won’t be in fine shape in four months to compete for his record-setting 25th Grand Slam title.