1 of 7 | Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after defeating Daniil Medvedev of Russia to win the men's final Sunday in Arthur Ashe Stadium at the 2023 U.S. Open Tennis Championships at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. Djokovic won in straight sets, 6-3, 7-6(5), 6-3. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Elation and exhaustion swept over Novak Djokovic's face as he lay on the court of Arthur Ashe Stadium, celebrating a grueling victory over Daniil Medvedev in the 2023 U.S. Open men's final Sunday in Flushing, N.Y.
The Serbian earned his 24th Grand Slam title with the 6-3, 7-6(5), 6-3 victory, tying Margaret Court's record for the most major titles on the women's or men's tennis circuits.
"To make history in this sport is something remarkable and special, every meaning of the word special," Djokovic said on the ESPN broadcast.
Djokovic, who missed last year's tournament because he was unvaccinated amid COVID-19 travel restrictions, collected a $3 million first-place prize for his fourth U.S. Open crown. The 36-year-old is the oldest man to ever win the Grand Slam.
The women's champion, Coco Gauff, received $3 million for her victory the day before.
"I don't know where to start," Djokovic said. "It obviously means the world to me. I'm kind of repeating myself, but I have to say it every time, I'm really living my childhood dream."
The No. 2 player in the world totaled four aces, converted 3 of 6 break point opportunities and fired 38 winners in the 3-hour, 16-minute bout with the No. 3 Russian foe. Medvedev logged six aces, converted 1 of 3 break point chances and logged 32 winners.
"I feel like I don't have a bad career and I have 20 overall titles," Medvedev said of Djokovic. "[He has] 24 Grand Slams. Wow."
Djokovic held his first two serves and broke Medvedev's serve in the second game for a 3-0 edge to open the match. Mevedev and Djokovic each held their serves for the remainder of the set. Medvedev logged three double faults in the first set loss.
The match then turned to a grueling, 1-hour, 44-minute second set, which included a 31-shot rally. Both sweat-soaked players took frequent rests, with their hands on their knees, which was the longest set of this year's tournament.
Djokovic and Medvedev held their serves through the first 12 games in the battle, forcing a tiebreak. Djokovic went on to win the tiebreaker 7-5.
Djokovic held his serve to start the final set. Medvedev also held in the second game, but was broken in the fourth.
He responded by breaking Djokovic's serve in the fifth game. Djokovic broke Medvedev's serve in the sixth game. Both players held their serves for the remainder of the set. Djokovic earned championship point when Medvedev hit a forehand return into the net.
Djokovic will take over No. 1, replacing Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, in the ATP Tour singles rankings, which will be released Monday. Alcaraz will drop to No. 2, while Medvedev will stay at No. 3.
Novak Djokovic of Serbia kisses his trophy after defeating Daniil Medvedev of Russia to win the Men's Final match at the 2023 U.S. Open Tennis Championships at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Forest Hills, N.Y., on September 10, 2023. Djokovic won in three sets, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo