Novak Djokovic was hoping to put the icing on the cake for a fantastic season. The world number 1 reached the final of the US Open after regulating Alexander Zverev, but he couldn't do anything against an excellent version of Daniil Medvedev.
The Russian put in an excellent performance, but was also helped by a subdued Nole from start to finish. Too much mental and physical fatigue accumulated by the Serbian in recent months, as he himself admitted in front of journalists.
Should he win in New York, the 34-years-old from Belgrade would become the second man after Rod Laver to complete the Grand Slam in the Open Era. Nole would also overtake Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the first time in the all-time Majors rankings, ending the debate on the greatest ever.
It is not clear now what Djokovic's schedule will be, as he may decide not to return to the pitch this season. According to some rumors, the 20-time Grand Slam champion intends to reappear directly to the Australian Open 2022.
Speaking on Eurosport, Boris Becker analyzed Novak's collapse one step away from the finish line.
Becker comments on the men's final
Former Djokovic's super-coach said: "I think Novak Djokovic played a game more than his physique and his mind could handle.
His tournament ended in the semifinals. Against Daniil Medvedev in Sunday's final, it was immediately clear that his condition was well below his usual standards. He did all he could to make history, he wanted to become the most successful player of any era.
A success in New York would have definitively closed the GOAT debate. I have never seen Novak so dull." The six-time Grand Slam champion then congratulated Medvedev: “The Russian deserved to win, there is no doubt about it.
If we look at his path, it is evident that he was the best tennis player over the course of the two weeks. He lost only one set in the whole tournament and won his first Major."