Novak Djokovic reveals his ‘only regret’ from US Open final
Novak Djokovic came within one win of the Calendar Slam at the US Open in 2021, the Serb now disclosing his one regret from the final there.
The world number one clinched his 18th, 19th and 20th Slam titles at the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon before heading to the 2021 US Open.
After winning six more matches to be 27-0 at the Slams for the season, world number two Daniil Medvedev stopped Djokovic in his tracks as the pressure became too much, the 34-year-old losing in straight sets.
“When I stepped onto the court for the US Open final, I was overwhelmed with the crowd support,” Djokovic told L’Equipe in reflecting on the occasion.
“I’m not usually the crowd favourite in big matches. I wasn’t prepared for such a reception.
“It caught me off guard. I had a different emotional response that maybe affected my game.”
Perhaps the most memorable image from that is of Djokovic crying at the change of ends late in the third set as he was overwhelmed in the moment.
That was a truly human moment that Djokovic looks back on positively, expressing that he only wished it had happened sooner.
“My only regret about the US Open final is I didn’t cry earlier,” he explained.
“I should have let go of all these mixed emotions inside of me earlier.
“I’m not saying I would have won the match. Daniil [Medvedev] was much better on the day.
“But the action of crying liberated me, just a little too late.”
Medvedev was nearly perfect in New York, dropping just one set en route to the title, in the quarter-finals against qualifier Botic van de Zandschulp.
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