“Era of the ‘Big Three’ Is Over”: Former Player Signifies the Importance of Daniil Medvedev’s US Open Title Victory Over Novak Djokovic

Published 09/14/2021, 3:00 PM EDT
Novak Djokovic of Serbia, Rafael Nadal of Spain and Roger Federer of Switzerlan wait to go on stage during the ATP Heritage Celebration at The Waldorf=Astoria on in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)


If there’s a player who displayed utmost brilliance time and again over the past decade when put under immense pressure on-court, it’s world number one Novak Djokovic.

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The Serbian tennis player ensured that no opponent of his would be better than him in handling on-court adversities and emerged on top in that department even against his two great rivals – Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

Sep 12, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Novak Djokovic of Serbia hits a shot against Daniil Medvedev of Russia in the men’s singles final on day fourteen of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

Watch this story: Top US Open Finals Featuring Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Others

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Pressure-filled Novak Djokovic was outclassed by Daniil Medvedev in US Open finals

But, on Sunday, when Djokovic walked into the Arthur Ashe stadium, knowing that he will be the first men’s singles player ever to reach 21 major titles, it was pressure that might have felt new to him. Previously, the Serb‘s intention was to reach both Federer and Nadal in terms of major titles.

During the US Open final, Djokovic had the chance to script history and be way ahead of Nadal and Federer in the GOAT race. But, what the Serb received in return wasn’t a title.

With scores of fans screaming his name at the top of their lungs throughout the match, Djokovic became the favorite in a grand slam final. Maybe, this could’ve played a part in his mind when he was playing against a formidable opponent in Daniil Medvedev.

Sep 12, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Daniil Medvedev of Russia celebrates with the championship trophy after his match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia (not pictured) in the men’s singles final on day fourteen of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s not take away the fact the Medvedev played brilliantly in the final. His serve, specially, was exquisite throughout the match and he also hit a lot of winner from both the wings. When the Russian finally held onto his serve to close out the match 6-4,6-4,6-4 and win the title, it was considered by many as the actual ‘Change of Guard’.

“Things are now going in a completely different direction” – Todd Woodbridge over Medvedev’s US Open victory

Now, former Australian doubles champion Todd Woodbridge believes that the change of guard happened on Sunday and the era of Big-3 was finally over.

With sport, things move on really quickly, new stories, new drama is always created. This tournament was a real pivot in the tennis world. Things are now going in a completely different direction. I feel that the era of the ‘Big Three’ is over”, commented Woodbridge.

LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 21: (L-R) Andy Murray of Great Britain, Novak Djokovic of Siberia, Roger Federer of Switzerland and Rafael Nadal of Spain attend a ceremony for Carlos Moya’s retirement during the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at O2 Arena on November 21, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

But, the Australian player, who is now a seasoned broadcaster with the Nine network, believes that Djokovic can win a couple of more major titles.

Woodbridge believes that Djokovic will bounce back to win 2022 Australian Open

Novak may still win one or two more majors, but I think there’s a feeling that this younger generation now see themselves as Grand Slam winners. Medvedev, through experience and two Grand Slam final losses, finally got it right”, Woodbridge continued.

Woodbridge concludes by saying that Novak Djokovic should have a good Australian Open next year as a tenth title there will bring more motivation to the current world number one.

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Tennis – Australian Open – Men’s Singles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates with the trophy after winning his final match against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

He has to have a good Australian Open. If things are going to continue as per normal, he must have a good tournament in Melbourne, otherwise doubts will start to creep in”. 

While it’s just one defeat in a major final, it’s important to note its significance in the minds of younger players like Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev, and Andrey Rublev.

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Medvedev’s US Open victory would have motivated them to repeat the same feat whenever they meet any of the Big-3 in the finals of a major going forward.

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Sagar Ashtakoula

391 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Having developed an interest in creating content, he mixed his passion for writing with his love for tennis for 2 years at SportsKeeda before joining the tennis team at EssentiallySports.

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