Former seven-time Grand Slam champion Mats Wilander thought that Daniil Medvedev neutralized Novak Djokovic's game and that was one of the keys behind his surprise US Open final win. Medvedev, seeded at No. 2, delivered a huge performance in the US Open final to finally lift his maiden Grand Slam title.
Djokovic entered the match as the favorite but Medvedev put up a clinic on the court as he saw off the Serb in striaght sets 6-4 6-4 6-4. Earlier this season, Medvedev suffered a straight-set defeat to Djokovic in the Australian Open final.
This time, Medvedev handled the pressure of playing a Grand Slam final much better. "He neutralised Novak's game a little bit," Wilander told Eurosport. "He didn't hit too hard. A lot of his shots were going down the middle of the court and he was asking Novak to actively do something and show that he has the power to hit through him.
"Medvedev was serving incredibly well and you need to do that for free points. Medvedev was too smart, too strong physically."
Medvedev a 'nightmare' opponent for Djokovic
Medvedev dropped just one set en route to winning his first Grand Slam title.
The only player who managed to take a set off Medvedev was Botic Van de Zandschulp, who achieved it in the quarterfinal. On the other side, Djokovic five four-set matches en route to making the US Open final. Medvedev looked more fresh in the final and it showed.
"Medvedev wasn't tested in the whole tournament. Yes he played four sets with [Botic] Van de Zandschulp 7-5 in the fourth but he wasn't really tested," Wilander added. "He had more energy in the end and was a nightmare opponent for Djokovic the way it went.
"The question is do the other big players now think they can beat Novak in big finals or iis it just Medvedev that believes it."