The US Open final ended with a stunning upset. The Grand Slam quest of Novak Djokovic came to an end as relative newcomer and second seed player Daniil Medvedev took the title. It’s Medvedev’s first Grand Slam title and although he’s not actually a newcomer, compared to Djokovic everyone struggles for the limelight. Until this weekend.
The Women’s US Open was also won by a relative newcomer. Emma Raducanu; a young player with a promising future, clinched the Women’s title. CELEB takes a look back at the breathtaking finals for both and what the wins mean for the future of tennis.
Medvedev Clinches Stunning Upset
Going into the final round, Djokovic was a shoe-in to win. At the top of his game and considered the world’s best tennis player, Djokovic had three Grand Slam titles under his belt and was looking to win it all. But whether it was the grueling pressure of three Grand Slam titles, an off day, or simply a juggernaut opponent – it was not to be.
Daniil Medvedev came from behind to win the day. ESPN shares this tidbit about the way Medvedev celebrated his win; “After blasting a 129 mph service winner to break through and win his first Slam, Medvedev took a couple of steps before letting his body go limp, falling onto his left shoulder and laying there while sticking his tongue out.
‘I like to play FIFA,’ Medvedev said of the popular soccer video game. ‘It’s called the ‘dead fish’ celebration. If you know your opponent when you play FIFA, many times you’re going to do this [to annoy your opponent] … I talked to the [younger] guys in the locker room. They were like, that’s legendary [celebrating like that].'”
Medvedev won by outlasting Djokovic, beating him at his own game. As Medvedev won 18 of the 25 rallies that lasted nine shots or more, Djokovic grew increasingly frustrated, snapping his racket in the fourth game of the second set. Medvedev, by comparison, grew more focused. And then, jubilant.
Medvedev says he knew Djokovic wasn’t playing at his best, but some tennis fans aren’t so sure. Medvedev may be less renowned than Djokovic, but perhaps only because the latter’s star shines so brightly. Medvedev is often considered the next great one, and this weekend he proved he’s earned that position.
As the men stood together to receive the trophy at the conclusion of the final, Medvedev had words for his esteemed rival, per ESPN; “‘I first want to say sorry for you and the fans, because we all know what he was going for today,’ Medvedev said. ‘What you accomplished this year and throughout your career, I have never said this to anybody, but, for me, you are the greatest tennis player in history.'”
The Men’s Open wasn’t the only final turning heads. Emma Raducanu took the title for the Women’s US Open, and the young champion is being celebrated the world over.
RFI shares, “Raducanu has become a global sensation after the 18-year-old stormed through qualifying to win the US Open in just her second Grand Slam appearance.
She defeated Leylah Fernandez in Saturday’s final in New York to become the first British woman to win a Grand Slam singles title since Virginia Wade at Wimbledon in 1977.
Raducanu’s former coach Mark Petchey knows just how talented and focused Raducanu already is.
Petchey believes Raducanu, who leaped 125 places in the world rankings to 25 following her victory at Flushing Meadow, could emulate the sustained success of former men’s world number one Andy Murray, who has also worked with the coach.”
Petchey always knew Raducanu was something special, and believes she could “rule the world.” After this weekend, he’s not alone.
Movers and Shakers
So what does it mean for the world of tennis that these two young movers and shakers have clinched arguably the biggest and final title in the Grand Slam run? It means that the old guard champions can’t rest easy on their laurels anymore. Tennis is known for juggernauts who build up great careers and become unbeatable until they retire. For Medvedev, beating Djokovic at the top of his game before he could consider retirement is a ringing endorsement of his future.
And for Djokovic, if you’re going to lose, it might as well be to someone who respects you so much. Djokovic may have lost the Open and his chance at a Grand Slam in 2021, but he walks away from this year’s run a champion, a record-breaker, and a legend.
Raducanu is another name to note. With the enthusiastic endorsement of her former coach and the attention of the tennis world, it’s clear she has a brilliant future ahead as well.