Novak Djokovic defeated Daniil Medvedev in straight sets on Sunday to win his fourth US Open and a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title, cementing his claim as the greatest tennis player in history.
The 36-year-old Djokovic won 6-3, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 to become the oldest men’s champion in New York in the Open era and match Margaret Court’s all-time mark for most Grand Slam victories.
“I don’t know where to start. It obviously means the world to me,” said Djokovic, wearing a white jacket with the number 24 on his chest during the trophy presentation.
“It’s hard to describe. I’m really living my childhood dream to compete at the highest level in this sport.
“I never imagined I would be standing talking about 24 Grand Slams but the last couple of years I’ve felt I have a chance and I have a shot at history and why not grab it.”
The Serbian is the first man to win three Grand Slam events in the same season four times, crowning his impending return to world number one in the most fitting of ways inside Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The victory added to his wins at the Australian and French Opens earlier this year, with the only blemish his five-set defeat to Carlos Alcaraz in the final of Wimbledon in July.
“You know, some people who are born, he’s a genius. He’s one of kind. Not too many people in this world like him in sport-wise,” said Djokovic’s coach, Goran Ivanisevic.
“This is one of the biggest achievement in the sport history.”
Medvedev suffered his fourth loss in five Grand Slam finals, all of which were against Djokovic or Rafael Nadal.
“First of all I want to ask Novak: What are you still doing here? Come on!” quipped Medvedev.
“I don’t know when you are planning to slow down a little bit.
“I mean, 24. I feel like I have not a bad career and I have 20 titles. You have 24 Grand Slams. Wow.”
Medvedev defeated Djokovic in straight sets in the 2021 final to prevent the Serbian from becoming the first man to win all four Grand Slams in the same year since Rod Laver in 1969.
Djokovic admitted to feeling overwhelmed on that occasion, but there was little evidence of nerves as he quickly took command of Sunday’s championship match.
The second seed — who missed last year’s US Open because of his refusal to be vaccinated against Covid-19 — burst out of the gate with a confident hold sealed by successive aces and struck at the first opportunity, punishing Medvedev for a double-fault to break for a 2-0 lead.