Being disrupted by hecklers while serving for the match only made Daniil Medvedev’s first Grand Slam title that much sweeter when it came Sunday at the expense of Novak Djokovic in the US Open final.

World number two Medvedev ripped top-ranked Djokovic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to deny the Serbian star the first Grand Slam sweep since 1969 and a men’s record 21st career major title.

“He definitely was not at his best. We saw him playing better,” Medvedev said. “Question is, if he would be, would I be able to cope up with him? We can never know now. I’m just happy to win.”

The breakthrough came in Medvedev’s third Slam final after losses to Rafael Nadal in the 2019 US Open final and Djokovic in February’s Australian Open final.


DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Hello, guys. Let’s make it an interesting one. I like interesting press conferences.

THE MODERATOR: I’m not going to ask you what you thought about the match. We’ll go right to the questions.

Q. Can you describe your approach to the match? Coming in it seemed like you were taking a lot of risk on your second serve.

DANIIL MEDVEDEV: First of all, we always talk tactics before the match with my coach, the day before. Usually takes five, ten minutes, some small things. Probably where I’m going to serve, what I’m going to do during the points.

When it’s against Novak, it took like probably 30 minutes. Why? Because we played already, like, I don’t know, maybe seven matches before this one, maybe even more. Every match was different just because he’s so good that every match is different. He changes his tactics, he changes his approach.

What was different before Australian Open that I had, yeah, clear plan in my mind what I have to do in which moment. Of course, it would depend a lot on him because, again, sometimes you have to be aggressive, sometimes defensive. I had a clear plan which did seem to work.

Was he at his best? Maybe not today. He had a lot of pressure. I had a lot of pressure, too, about the risk on the second serve, it was because of the confidence I had. I knew I cannot give him easy serves because that’s what he likes. So that was the plan. Because of the confidence in a lot of tight moments, I managed to do it well.

Q. You did not give him much room for error today. Did you feel at any point maybe the pressure was starting to wear on him? Did you feel it was a different Djokovic?

DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Well, again, I did beat him once in straight sets. Was in London. I think tennis is such brutal sport where there is no room for error when you’re playing top guys. I am a top guy; he is a top guy. London can be the same. I went out of the match in Nitto Finals, and I was like, That was strange, it was easy.

I guess, you know, it’s all together. Maybe he had a bad day. If we talk about Australia, I definitely didn’t play my best there. But, again, probably people are going to say, Well, Novak destroyed him, whatever.

It’s always about the small details. Again, he definitely was not at his best. We saw him playing better. The question is, if he would be, would I be able to cope up with him? We can never know now. I’m just happy to win (smiling).

Q. With the fans cheering in the third set while you’re trying to serve, what was your mindset?

DANIIL MEDVEDEV: It was definitely tough. It was definitely tough. Cannot say other way. I knew that the only thing I can do is focus. Never know what would happen if it would be 5-All, if I would start to get crazy or whatever. It didn’t happen, so again we cannot talk about it.

I knew I have to focus on myself, on what I have to do to win the match. I do think it was not against me. It was more for him. Well, they wanted to see their guy win a calendar Grand Slam.

But, yeah, I definitely made some double-faults because of it. That makes it even more sweet that finally I managed to pass a first serve on the third match point.

Q. Talk about this win and halting this journey to this historic achievement on his part?

DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Everything that happens for the first time is special. When I won my first junior tournament, it meant a lot to me. When I won my first future, I was happy. I think when you repeat something, there is a little bit different emotions unless you make history.

Why I say this is because now winning the Masters, I’m super happy, strong achievement. Not many player won a Masters in their career. But the only thing I was thinking after winning another Masters is I need more, I want to try to do more.

You never know if you’re going to achieve it in your career. Again I was always saying, If I don’t, I just want to know that I did my best to do it.

Now it’s a bit – I don’t know if (indiscernible) is a good word, but a lot of happiness. That’s my first Grand Slam. I don’t know how I’m going to feel if I win a second one or third one. That’s my first one, so I’m really happy. Means a lot to me.

Again, after Masters, for example winning in Canada, I knew I had Cincinnati next to try to prepare well for US Open, so I couldn’t even celebrate in a way. I needed to get on the plane and get ready for my first round.

Here I know I don’t have anything coming in soon future, so I know how to celebrate. Russians know how to celebrate (smiling). Hopefully I will not get in the news. If I get, it’s going to be in a good way. But I’m going to definitely celebrate the next few days (smiling).

Q. How would you compare the pressure of the last couple of games closing it out to other things in your career?

DANIIL MEDVEDEV: I definitely had it. Again, talking about the first time, first time I was – second time I was in final of ATP 250, played against de Minaur. Crazy match in Sydney against his home crowd. I had 4-0, double break in the third. I had I think 5-3, one break again in the third. I managed to win it 7-5. It was a hell of a match. A lot of nerves. I want to say I had less today because I have a lot of experience. I know how to cope, how to deal with my feelings.

It’s a good thing I had less pressure than I had sometimes throughout my career. But it was still a lot. Again, it’s last game of the match. I started cramping at 5-3, I think because of the pressure at 5-2 where I had match points, I didn’t make it. My legs were gone after 5-3. At 5-4, left leg, I almost couldn’t walk. If you really look the replay, when I walked to the towel, my leg was just going behind. I was trying not to show it. If Novak feels it, it’s not good.

Again, 40-15, that’s two match points. I was like, C’mon, go for an ace, just try to make it. I had a huge double-fault. Second one was like in the middle of the net. Okay, I have one more. Just try to make a first serve. I made it and I’m really happy.

Q. You’re getting closer to the No. 1 ranking. Is that a next goal of yours, something you would adjust your schedule to do? You’re about 1,400 points behind.


Q. Yes.

DANIIL MEDVEDEV: I have Paris and Nitto ATP Finals to defend. Novak, I don’t think he has much to defend. I think honestly it’s almost impossible.

Yeah, I don’t know in the race if I am far behind Novak. If we talk about schedule, what can I change? There is Indian Wells, there is Paris Bercy, Turin, and Vienna. Vienna is in the week of St. Petersburg. I’m definitely not going to play it, because I probably won’t play St. Pete also. But again, in the week of St. Pete, which is a Russian tournament, I’m not going to play anything else.

Let’s hope I win Indian Wells, Bercy and Turin. It’s a tough challenge. I’m just happy to win a major. I’m going to do my best in every tournament I’m playing. I’m going to see what I’m going to do with the schedule.

That’s not my first goal in my mind to try to achieve it this year. If I manage to do it one day, it’s great.

Q. Does it make it sweeter that you beat the No. 1 player in the world and stopped his quest for the Grand Slam? You said you were sorry, but are you really sorry?

DANIIL MEDVEDEV: I do feel sorry for Novak because I cannot imagine what he feels. I don’t know this feeling. It definitely makes it sweeter. I mean, a Grand Slam is a Grand Slam. I would win it against Botic in the final, probably I would be same happy.

For the confidence and for my future career, knowing that I beat somebody who was 27-0 in a year in Grand Slams, I lost to him in Australia, he was going for huge history, and knowing that I managed to stop him it definitely makes it sweeter and brings me confidence for what is to come on hard courts so far, but let’s see about other surfaces.

Q. Could you talk briefly about your feelings about Novak. You said some very kind words to him on the court. You said that for you he’s the greatest player of all time.

DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Yeah, you know, I’m not going to repeat probably again. But, yeah, it’s there. It’s honest what I said. I feel like it can be even in a way a little bit disrespectful to some other guys, which we all know. That’s just I had him there behind me.

Again, what I said is not like I would have another player behind me and beat him in the final, I would have not said it. So that’s what I think. And, yeah, that’s all I need to say.

THE MODERATOR: Final question.

DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Make it a good one.

Q. A bit of a silly one.

DANIIL MEDVEDEV: I like silly questions.

Q. Did you know beforehand that if you won you were going to celebrate that way? Why did you choose that in particular?

DANIIL MEDVEDEV: Yeah, I can explain it. When I was running through Wimbledon, because that’s not the surface – I like grass, but I don’t feel as fluid as on hard courts. I was really confident about my game.

I think it was like one night, you know, you cannot fall asleep. Five, ten minutes you have crazy thoughts, like every other person. I was like, Okay, if I’m going to win Wimbledon, imagine I win it against Novak or whatever. To not celebrate is going to be too boring, because I do it all the time. I need to do something, but I want to make it special.

I like to play FIFA. I like to play PlayStation. It’s called the dead fish celebration. If you know your opponent when you play FIFA, many times you’re going to do this. You’re going to score a goal, you’re up 5-0, you do this one.

Yeah, I talked to the guys in the locker, they’re young guys, super chill guys. They play FIFA. They were like, That’s legendary. Everybody who I saw who plays FIFA thinks that’s legendary. That’s how I wanted to make it.

Again, it’s not because I want to be on the newspaper talking about FIFA celebration or whatever. I don’t care. But I wanted to make it special for people to love, for my friends to love who I play FIFA with. I knew I’m going to make it. I got hurt a little bit. It’s not easy to make it on hard courts. I got hurt a little bit, but I’m happy I made it legendary for myself.

That was a nice last question (smiling).

Transcript courtesy ASAP Sports /