Novak Djokovic was chasing history in the US Open final as he could have clinched Calendar slam had he gone all the way in the tournament. However, the Serbian was denied by Daniil Medvedev who won his first Grand slam title as the Russian dominated the whole contest.
Medvedev won in straight sets by 6-4, 6-4 6-4 and not many expected the World no.1 to go down in such a fashion. It was felt that there was a lot of mental pressure on Djokovic and he could not bring his best to the table when it mattered the most.
Furthermore, Medvedev had a relatively easier draw than Djokovic and he had spent 5.5 hours less than his opponent and was more fresh for the final. Djokovic, on the other hand, had played a thrilling five-setter semifinal against Alexander Zverev.
“He (Medvedev) had a completely open draw and objectively fewer challenges, but that is not a reason for the more rested to be better in the final,” Bubanj said in a recent interview with Sputnik. “This can often be the other way around. The whole final did not depend on Medvedev, but exclusively on Novak.”
Meanwhile, Djokovic’s serve was broken in the very first game by Medvedev. The Serbian had a 40-15 lead but could not capitalise on it.
“If we talk about the details, there are two that decided the entire course of that final, and that’s why it ended the way it did,” Bubanj said. “It is the first game in which everything was seen. When Novak served, he had 40:15, one point was a double fault, and Medvedev ordered three unforced errors.”
In fact, earlier Djokovic was chasing the Golden slam and he decided to play in the Tokyo Olympics. The Serbian also struggled in hot and humid conditions in Japan’s capital and lost in the semifinal against Alexander Zverev. Bubanj feels playing in the Tokyo Olympics was a mistake as it took away the crucial preparation time from Djokovic.
“Novak was also in a dilemma whether to play the Olympic Games,” Bubanj said. “I think that is not the basic, but a precondition for things to develop the way they developed. The Olympics were from this perspective a big mistake in every way. He lost a period of rest and preparation for the US Open, which was realistically the most important tournament in his career. He will win more Grand Slams, he will be the first, but four in one year is an unimaginable success.”