Novak Djokovic's dream of becoming the second man in the Open Era to complete the Grand Slam was shattered one step away from the finish line. After taking down the top three majors of the season, the world number 1 made it to the final at the US Open, but he was unable to put the icing on the cake.
Stuck in tension and physically exhausted, the Serbian phenomenon succumbed sharply to Daniil Medvedev in the final act at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York. The attempt by the public to encourage the 34-year-old from Belgrade, who could not do much in front of a rival in top form, was useless.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion did not shine particularly in the previous rounds, as well as coming from a tremendous marathon in the semifinals against Alexander Zverev. The Russian, for his part, had benefited from a rather easy draw, which had put the inexperienced Felix Auger-Aliassime in front of him on the way to his second final in the Big Apple.
In a recent interview with 'Sputnik', former Serbian Davis Cup selector Goran Bubanj analyzed Nole’s collapse at the US Open.
Bubanj on Novak Djokovic
"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 Djokovic." Goran Bubanj also stressed on two important moments of the match where he felt Novak Djokovic failed to capitalize.
"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.
When you see his way of playing in that first game, it was obvious that he was under pressure," Bubanj said. "If Djokovic won his game, that pressure would be seen on Medvedev's serve and the course of the match would be different.
Then we entered the second set...Djokovic won his service game, he immediately had three consecutive break points on Medvedev's serve. Of that, the first ball was one hundred percent an easy ball on the net. If he executed that, it would be 2-0, then he would serve, it would be 3-0, and then we would have a completely different match."