The number 1 in the world bows to the Russian in 3 sets and in just over two hours: 6-4 6-4 6-4! Medvedev wins the first Grand Slam title. Nole remains at 20, with Federer and Nadal
Rod Laver, in the stands, could not cheer, it would not have been elegant. His record is saved: on a psychodrama evening, reminiscent of Serena Williams in 2015 in the semifinals against our heroic Roberta Vinci, Novak Djokovic suffers the most devastating defeat possible and misses a Grand Slam that seemed sure. Daniil Medvedev looks like a robot, he looks like Djokovic, he does everything perfect. Cold face, maximum attention, bombs in service, tears Nole’s dream into a thousand pieces and beats him 6-4 6-4 6-4 in just over two hours. The first Grand Slam title of his career almost takes a back seat in the face of the emotional cataclysm of Arthur Ashe Stadium which hoped to witness the Serbian consecration to the Olympus of Grand Slam winners.
And so only they remain: Don Budge, in prehistory of 1938, and Rod Laver, in 1962 and then in 1969, to keep the crown in the chest. Roger Federer did not succeed, Rafa Nadal did not. Perhaps only Nole could do it, the boy from Belgrade who grew up under the bombs of the Balkan war who brought his fight for survival to the tennis court.
How many battles
Each match a battle, each match a matter of life and death. Nole in constant struggle, against opponents and against the public. Never loved enough, a bit like Cinderella’s half-sisters, a bit of a third wheel, who ruined the party of Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal. Both beaten at their Wimbledon and Roland Garros temples more than once. “When I hear they’re cheering for my rival I think they’re cheering me on, so I get excited.” And yesterday the audience, for once, was everything to him. Who knows, maybe he wasn’t used to it, the Djoker, with his legs usually ultra-elastic, stiff with emotion.
The first game of the match reveals all the tension that grips the number 1 in the world. Djokovic, despite the double fault in the second point, quickly climbs 40-15, but is resumed by Medvedev who immediately settles the break going on the run. Nole’s nervousness also continues in his second serving: the Serbian goes under 15-40, but recovers by finally finding the service and from the possible 0-3 he goes on 1-2. Nole keeps afloat with the serve, like Medvedev who with the new balls climbs ahead 5-3, Nole keeps for the 5-4. The first of the two set points is enough for the Russian to close 6-4. Nole is nervous, in the second set he misses three break points and crumbles a racket. But Medvedev overtakes him in the 5th game with a decisive 3-2 break. Daniil goes up 4-2 and then wins an extraordinary game for 5-3. At 5-4 Medvedev gets three set points, wastes two but on the third Medvedev plays a very clumsy short ball but Nole makes a mistake and finds himself under two sets to zero. The 3rd set also starts badly with a break suffered by Djokovic. Medvedev has no mercy for the number 1 who still gives up the bar and in a moment he is 4-1 down. We arrive at 5-2 and match point. Medvedev commits a poisonous double foul, Nole is a lion, sees a crack to stay attached to the match and goes to the tenth game at 5-4. There, Nole entered the field with tears in his eyes, a personal drama that everyone witnessed and with the public who lived through the emotions supporting the Serbian. Two more match points arrive in an amen. Curtain.
September 13, 2021 (change September 13, 2021 | 01:11)
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