“Gone to His Limit”: Former Coach Reveals Reason Behind Novak Djokovic’s Pain-Staking US Open Loss

Published 09/16/2021, 3:37 PM EDT
Sep 12, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Novak Djokovic of Serbia (L) is overcome with emotion during an interview with ESPN hist Chris McKendry (R) during the trophy ceremony after his match against Daniil Medvedev of Russia (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: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports


It was a taxing few months for world no.1 Novak Djokovic as he played two mammoth events – Tokyo Olympics and the US Open and left both the tournaments with bitter experiences. Last Sunday, when the Serb played against Daniil Medvedev in the final at Arthur Ashe stadium, he witnessed something rare.

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The Arthur Ashe crowd were rallied behind Djokovic as he tried to be the first male singles tennis player ever to win 21 major titles. No matter how hard he tried to put the records behind and play the game, it can be overwhelming for any athlete.

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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Usually, the Serb is a master under pressure. So, when Medvedev won the first two sets against Djokovic, fans were expecting a crazy comeback from the 20-time major champion.

But, it didn’t happen as the Russian didn’t allow Novak to crawl back into the match at any given point.

As a result, Djokovic lost the match and missed out on the Calendar Slam. Knowing that he is currently the fittest of the Big-3, it’s safe to say that the Serbian star will have more opportunities in the future to go for history.

Sep 12, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; (L-R) Novak Djokovic of Serbia and Daniil Medvedev of Russia celebrate with the finalist and championship trophies, respectively, after their match 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

Boris Becker feels that Novak Djokovic had gone over the limit, emotionally at the US Open final

What’s incredible on a memorable Sunday night was the fact that Djokovic was embraced by the majority of the crowd which made him emotional.

It was clearly visible during the last few games in the third set and the world no.1 sobbed during the post-match presentation speech, praising the fans for their relentless support till the end.

Now, talking about the US Open final and why Novak Djokovic was always treated as the bad guy, former player and Novak’s ex-coach Boris Becker came to his defense and hoped that the perspective will change after what’s happened in that final against Medvedev.

PARIS, FRANCE – JUNE 05: Champion Novak Djokovic of Serbia clebrates with his coach, Boris Becker following his victory during the Men’s Singles final match against Andy Murray of Great Britain on day fifteen of the 2016 French Open at Roland Garros on June 5, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Brunskill for Adidas/Getty Images)

I’ve never seen Novak cry on the tennis court. He must have really gone to his limit, or over the limit, emotionally”. 

“Sometimes misbehaves on the court, but who doesn’t?” – Becker on Novak

Comparing Djokovic’s personality on-court to that of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, Becker backed the Serb and explained that Novak is exceptional on and off the court

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I know Novak privately and professionally, and I can only say that he is a fine guy. A competitor who sometimes misbehaves on the court, but who doesn’t? The public, including the media, really have to get used to the fact that there are not just two, but three legends, who have great qualities as players and as individuals”, concluded Becker.

While Djokovic might have some pressure with respect to numbers, he will cherish the fact that there are scores of fans who would love to see him play a major final and script history.

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That being said, when both Nadal and Federer are back next year, it will be intriguing to see how the dynamics change, especially at majors.

DIVE DEEPER

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Sagar Ashtakoula

466 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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