Novak Djokovic is a Grand Slam Champion for the 24th time thanks to a 6-3, 7-6(5), 6-3 over Daniil Medvedev in the 2023 US Open final.
It was a trademark Djokovic display in finding a way to win. After dominating the opening set, he came within a whisker of dropping the second set, only to save a set point, win another tiebreak, and power home in the third.
To make the history of this sport is something truly remarkable and special, I never imagined that I would be here talking about 24 Slams. I never thought that would be the reality, but the last couple of years I felt I have a chance, I have a shot at history—and why not grab it if it’s presented. Obviously in every in every possible way, in every possible meaning of the word special. It’s hard to describe in words. I had the childhood dream when I was seven, eight. I wanted to become the best player in the world and win the Wimbledon trophy. That was the only thing I wanted. I fell in love with tennis. No one has played tennis in my family before, so it was quite a choice I must say. But incredible resilience, just belief from my parents, from all the people around me all these years. My wife my kids, my team, everyone that is there, this is your trophy as much as it is mine. This is your success. I love you. Djokovic on his 24th Grand Slam win.
Quick Match Recap
The match’s first point kicked things off with a lengthy ping-pong-style rally that Djokovic won, setting the tone for the entire match.
From there, the Serb captured the break and consolidated for 2-0. He maintained his advantage to win the first set 6-3.
Despite dropping the set, Medvedev was still right there, hanging in several lung-busting rallies and the second set, his refusal to miss started to fatigue Djokovic.
Djokovic adapted by throwing in more serve and volley, using it 11 times in the set with a 100% success rate to keep himself in the set, but it felt like Medvedev had the edge, fashioning a breakpoint at 3-4 only for Djokovic to save it with a clutch half volley.
The Russian continued to look the stronger of the two, and at 6-5, another break point came his way, but he made the wrong choice on the pass, going cross-court that allowed Djokovic to guide a reaction volley into the open court.
The set went into a tiebreak, and like clockwork, Djokovic brought his best, winning a lengthy rally en route to holding a set point at 6-5 and then making a solid return to get Medvedev on the back foot to draw the error.
Dropping the second set was hugely deflating for Medvedev, and Djokovic broke in the opening game of the third.
An instant re-break made it appear Medvedev was going to stick around, but Djokovic quickly reasserted himself, and the third seed faded, unable to find his way back into it as Novak controlled the third set to bag his 24th slam.
|Daniil Medvedev||Novak Djokovic|
|First Serve||65% (69/106)||54% (59/109)|
|1st Serve Points Won||71% (49/69)||81% (48/59)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||38% (14/37)||53% (26/49)|
|Break Points Saved||50% (3/6)||67% (2/3)|
|1st Return Points Won||19% (11/59)||29% (20/69)|
|2nd Return Points Won||47% (23/49)||62% (23/37)|
|Break Points Converted||33% (1/3)||50% (3/6)|
|Net Points Won||73% (16/22)||84% (37/44)|
|Service Points Won||59% (63/106)||69% (75/109)|
|Receiving Points Won||31% (34/109)||41% (43/106)|
|Total Points Won||45% (97/215)||55% (118/215)|
Thoughts on the Final
This was another superbly executed Grand Slam final from Djokovic as he produced the sounder gameplan by using his ability to take the ball earlier on the baseline and throwing in that bit of variety with the serve and volley.
While the scoreline makes it look pretty straightforward, it was a physical battle, and 3 hours and 30 minutes for a straight sets match is no joke, especially when the third set lasted just 45 minutes.
The only real difference between the pair in the opening set was Medvedev’s poor opening service game, as both guys looked rock solid from the baseline. However, it was still Djokovic who you felt had the edge as he was more aggressive, and you always felt like he could pull the trigger to get the rally in his favour.
The second set was more about Medvedev, as he really locked down from the baseline and probably should have won it.
Hindsight is always 20:20, but there was a big area to hit down the line on that passing shot rather than going cross-court, so he’ll rue that decision.
Still, you have to give kudos to Djokovic for changing his game plan to try and end points quickly to avoid Medvedev taking his legs away. Serve volleying and drop shots worked for him rather than against him.
The third was a bit of a blowout in comparison, as Medvedev couldn’t summon a fight back and looked a bit done physically with more errors creeping into his game.
As a neutral, I’d have liked to see Medvedev take the second set as we’d have seen if he was the one who could outlast Novak physically, but I think overall he needed to play a more proactive on the return of serve and just a bit more aggressively from the baseline.
For me, he was too stubborn with that deep return position and gave Novak too much time to close the net behind his serve.
The long rallies were indeed lung-busting, and I know Medvedev has enjoyed plenty of success playing that way, but hoping you can outlast Djokovic never puts the match on your racket.
If he’d pushed the envelope more, he’d have created several opportunities to win the second set, not just that single passing shot chance.
What did you guys think of the final? Let me know in the comments.