Tuesday, October 3, 2023
HomeArsenalNovak Djokovic's 4th US Open Win: A Beautiful Reversal of Fortune

Novak Djokovic’s 4th US Open Win: A Beautiful Reversal of Fortune

What I discovered so attention-grabbing when Novak Djokovic received his 24th main and 4th US Open title is that it was a whole reversal of the 2021 US Open last.

Daniil Medvedev, not Novak Djokovic, was the champion there, profitable in a extremely unexpected and albeit weird scoreline of 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. What on earth occurred?

After profitable all three earlier majors that yr, Djokovic was on prime of the tennis world and was trying to go for the “calendar grand slam”. 

Maybe this yr, Djokovic felt much less stress to realize historical past and turned the tables for his personal straight-sets victory in a 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 scoreline.

Defeat can usually loosen up gamers. A stinging loss for Roger Federer within the 2019 Indian Wells last to Dominic Theim (regardless that he received the opening set, 6-3, comfortably) relaxed his physique.

On the subsequent Masters 1000 occasion additional south in Miami, Federer’s photographs grew to become free and straightforward, his highly effective neo-backhand returned, and he cruised by means of formidable opponents like Kevin Anderson and John Isner to say the final large title he ever received.

With Djokovic in New York, it was related. Gone was the stress of profitable all 4 slams in the identical yr after Alcaraz shocked the veteran Wimbledon champion along with his managed aggression.

Djokovic in all probability likes the thought of getting prolonged baseline exchanges, within the expectation that he is aware of he isn’t going to overlook usually and anticipate his opponent to bodily tire or go for broke and make an unforced error.

His flexibility on a tough courtroom when it comes to having the ability to each stretch and slide provides him an added insurance coverage coverage.

Prolonged exchanges from Medvedev will not be one thing even Djokovic needed to get caught in. He was taking part in who is maybe his closest “mirror picture” on tour with regards to most well-liked type of play (extraordinarily excessive share tennis) and tactical preferences (baseline rallies).

Two years in the past, Djokovic was joyful to rally, nevertheless it was Medvedev who, most of the time, had the persistence and ensured his groundstrokes remained throughout the strains.

In the meantime, Djokovic anxiously needed to get the job performed, attacking with groundstrokes that grew to become unforced errors. With the reminiscence of 2021 burning in his thoughts, Djokovic radically switched issues up.

Although the match had its justifiable share of baseline exchanges, Djokovic got here to the online an astonishing 22 instances for a serve and volley play and received 20 instances.

Djokovic additionally ventured to the forecourt throughout rallies, profitable 37 of 44 factors on the web.

Being damaged within the first recreation of the primary set put Medvedev instantly on the again foot, going for dangerous performs like drop photographs or over-ambitious passes.

Djokovic, in flip, used crisp volleys or speedy footwork to succeed in the ball. Surprisingly, Medvedev missed a chance by not making an attempt to disrupt Djokovic’s recreation in the identical method and largely averted coming to the online except he needed to.

Later, trademark photographs from the Serb would seem – the backhand down the road or the backhand drop shot – each performs that additional denied Medvedev the essential rhythm he wanted from the baseline and an indication that Djokovic’s confidence was rising, particularly after closing out the marathon second set that lasted over an hour and 40 minutes.

A 24th grand slam is important due to its relevance to different gamers with massive main counts.

Grand Slam Leaderboard

grand slam leaders
Participant Grand Slam Titles
Novak Djokovic 24
Margaret Court docket 24
Serena Williams 23
Steffi Graf 22
Rafael Nadal 22
Roger Federer 20

Equalling Margaret Court docket’s report is one thing to be celebrated. However is it helpful to rely grand slams between gamers of various eras and genders?

Djokovic has usually problematised the GOAT debate between himself, Nadal and Federer as a result of it reductions older generations competing with completely different gear, entry to high quality physio and coaching (in comparison with fashionable instances), and funds. 

He argues that the highest gamers of the day have been nice in their very own method.

Would Rod Laver of the Nineteen Sixties beat Djokovic of the 2020s? It’s unfair to match as a result of the taking part in type was so completely different again then.

Would prime Djokovic be capable to beat prime Serena Williams? Tennis (and most sports activities) is segregated by gender for a cause: in order that one could not have an “unfair benefit” over the opposite.

Does this imply that Djokovic’s stand up the grand slam rely is, due to this fact, extra spectacular than Serena’s?

Having a mixture of gamers right here isn’t useful as a result of Djokovic would by no means get to play towards a prime feminine participant.

Even relative to different gamers in his period and the boys’s recreation, Djokovic has reached dizzying new heights.

That is necessary mentally for the Serb. We now have seen how breaking group information (like Djokovic going for the calendar grand slam) can pressure gamers.

However this second for Djokovic jogs my memory of when Federer broke Pete Sampras’s report to win 15 main titles in 2009. He now not has the stress of competing towards another person’s report or reaching crowd expectations.  

Djokovic, like Federer then, is just in a category of his personal, and a calmer thoughts might unleash even additional victories for him.

Even Carlos Alcaraz, Djokovic’s solely important rival, was proven to not be invincible, crushed by him quickly after the Wimbledon loss on the Cincinnati Masters in August.

If Djokovic continues to adapt like he has with Medvedev and Alcaraz, then the one man he has to beat is himself.

How important do you assume Djokovic’s victory is? Can we evaluate him to different nice gamers of the boys’s and girls’s recreation in several eras? And the way nicely can he proceed to adapt towards the highest gamers? Go away your feedback under.



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