How Was Daniil Medvedev’s Mastermind Executed While Denying Novak Djokovic’s Calendar Slam?

Published 09/17/2021, 4:58 AM EDT
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


World No.2 Daniil Medvedev did the unbelievable and emerged as the winner of the US Open 2021. The Russian ended the 27-match winning streak of Novak Djokovic at Grand Slams and also denied him his Calendar Slam in New York. The final scoreline of the match was 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.

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Fans couldn’t believe how Novak Djokovic lost to Daniil Medvedev, that too, in straight sets. However, it is some brilliant amount of groundstrokes, beautiful set-up, and great serves that led to the defeat of the World No.1 player at the US Open 2021. Let us find out how Medvedev conquered Nole in New York.

Daniil Medvedev was way ahead of Novak Djokovic when it came to striking good groundstrokes

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Sep 12, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts after smashing his racket in the second set of the match 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

If there is one factor that is primarily responsible for Djokovic’s defeat at the US Open 2021 finals, it is his poor rate of winning on his groundstrokes. While, Medvedev struck 16 groundstroke winners from his 295 shots, Djokovic could manage only 6 from his 283 shots.

The Serbian legend even did more unforced errors while playing the groundstrokes as compared to Medvedev (38-33). Surprisingly, at the Australian Open 2021 finals, the World No.2 player committed seven unforced errors in the first three games. In contrast, he committed just four in the entire first set at the US Open 2021 finals.

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Attacking the backhand of Djokovic

Medvedev made sure that he tries to place his shots towards the backhand of Djokovic. He attempted to engage in as many backhand-to-backhand rallies as possible to attack Djokovic with his flat-backhand at the end. It worked as Nole played 39 more backhands than his forehands in the entire match.

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Sep 10, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Daniil Medvedev of Russia hits a backhand against Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada (not pictured). Day twelve of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

There were incidents when Djokovic could have played the forehand while chasing the ball but preferred to either hit a backhand or sometimes a slice because of not sufficient room, which gave Medvedev enough time to regenerate the incredible amount of energy on his next shots. Thus, the Russian’s backhand strategy worked against the 20-time Grand Slam champion.

Overall, Daniil Medvedev managed to win the mental battle against Novak Djokovic. It will be intriguing to see if he will be able to continue his momentum and form at the Australian Open 2022 or not.

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Anshul Singh

1385 articles

Anshul Singh is a tennis author at EssentiallySports, currently pursuing Journalism Honors from Delhi University. Having significant experience with content, Anshul has authored over 500 tennis articles. He has previously worked as a writer and an editor for DU Express, penning riveting articles on sports, politics, and culture.

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