Daniil Medvedev had been a player to beat in the summer of 2019 alongside Rafael Nadal, winning 12 of 14 games in three consecutive weeks and reaching finals in Washington, Montreal and Cincinnati. Nick Kyrgios and Nadal defeated the Russian in the first two games for the title before advancing to another final in Cincinnati.
Medvedev dethroned Novak Djokovic 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 in one hour and 42 minutes for his second consecutive Masters 1000 title match. Djokovic controlled the pace in the first set before Medvedev took over, looking for all-or-nothing shots that gave him the advantage on the court after shooting 37 winners and 21 unforced errors.
Medvedev played against only two break opportunities, suffered a break in set number one and looked more energetic and confident in his games after fending off a crucial break opportunity at 2-2 in set number two. Novak lost ground from there, unable to pull errors from the inspired rival or extend plays to safe ground above the ninth shot, where he had a clear advantage.
Both players earned 75 points, and Daniil built the lead after converting all three break opportunities, playing impressive tennis in the final 50 minutes or so to take a great title from Novak's hands. Medvedev had more serve winners to create the gap in the shorter range of up to four shots while taking the same number of points as Novak in the mid-range exchanges of five to eight shots.
The Serbian controlled the pace in the first set with well-measured shots, navigating through his games and delivering a break in the sixth game after an incredible defense that sent him 4-2 up.
Jim Courier reflects on Novak Djokovic
While speaking during the Australian Open Show prior to the start of the tournament, Jim Courier claimed that while the World No.
1 is the "heavy favorite" for the title in New York, he will be under immense pressure. "It's a different environment for him (Novak Djokovic) this year, the pressure he'll feel will be unlike anything he has felt so far in his career," Courier said.
"It's going to be fascinating to see how he manages that because he's clearly the heavy, heavy favorite based on how he has played on hardcourts in recent times." Jim Courier put that down to the Serb's mental and physical fatigue following his triumphs at Roland Garros and Wimbledon.
"I think we saw, in Tokyo, the frustration of trying to do it when he wasn't fresh, trying to get that gold medal and go for the Golden Slam, and try and tie Steffi Graf in that regard," Courier said.