Novak Djokovic was a man on the mission at Majors in 2021. The Serb kicked off the season with his ninth Australian Open crown and added his second Roland Garros to move halfway from tennis glory. Djokovic secured his sixth Wimbledon title over Matteo Berrettini and moved closer to a calendar Grand Slam, the first since Rod Laver in 1969.
Novak came to New York after losing an Olympic medal in Tokyo, not playing at his best and dropping six sets en route to the final. Djokovic's 27th consecutive win at Majors came in a five-setter against Alexander Zverev, standing one victory away from the 21st Major and a calendar Grand Slam.
Chasing the ultimate tennis glory, Djokovic lost to Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 and experienced one of his toughest defeats in a career. Cracking under pressure, Novak played far below his best, struggling on the return and failing to impose his strokes against the rival who desperately wanted to claim his first Major crown.
Like never before, Djokovic had massive support at Arthur Ashe Stadium, feeling impressed about that and saying that the spectators touched his heart. Novak was very emotional after the match, relieved after finishing his journey and hoping to fight for more notable titles in the next couple of years.
Novak Djokovic had massive support during the US Open final.
"I have learned over the years to deal with losses in such a way that I treat them as excellent opportunities for growth. I feel that the US Open loss in the final has arrived, arguably, at the worst or at the best time for me, in a way.
Of course, I'm disappointed that I lost the match, but I feel blessed to experience love from the crowd and support from the stadium that I have never experienced before in my life in New York and not in many places around the world.
And that kind of energy I received from the crowd from the moment I stepped on the court is a win for life. They touched my heart and caught me by surprise. I did not expect that much positivity, support and love going my way.
Maybe it influenced my game because I'm used to going into hostile environments in the big matches where I'm also playing against the opponent and crowd. It was not that day, and I was not present on the court regarding my game as I was supposed to win that match.
In an ideal scenario, I would have won all four Majors. Still, knowing I was so close gives me great encouragement for the future and makes me feel humble about my game and career. It gives me a reality check where I have to go back to the practice court. There is always something to improve and work on," Novak Djokovic said.