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Medvedev ends Djokovic’s bid for year Slam at US Open

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By AP Updated: Sep 13, 2021 9:08 pm
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Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, left, and Daniil Medvedev, of Russia, talk during the trophy ceremony after the men’s singles final of the US Open tennis championships on Sunday .(PTI)

New York, Sep. 13 (AP/PTI/ IANS): Novak Djokovic’s bid for the first calendar-year Grand Slam in men’s tennis since 1969 ended one victory short with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 loss to Daniil Medvedev in the US Open final on Sunday.

Medvedev’s surprisingly lopsided triumph gave him his first major championship and prevented Djokovic from winning what would have been the record 21st of his career.

Daniil Medvedev, of Russia, kisses the championship trophy after defeating Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, in the men’s singles final of the US Open tennis championships on Sunday. (PTI)

The No. 1-ranked Djokovic entered this match 27-0 in 2021 at the sport’s four most important tournaments, enduring the burdens of expectations and pressure that came along with his two-track pursuit of history over the past seven months and, in New York, the past two weeks.

He beat Medvedev in the Australian Open final on a hard court in February, then added titles on clay at the French Open in June and Wimbledon on grass in July.

But Djokovic, a 34-year-old from Serbia, couldn’t get to 28-0. He simply was far from his best on this particular day.

He made mistakes, 38 unforced errors in all. He wasn’t able to convert a break chance until it was too little, too late. He showed frustration, too, destroying his racket by pounding it three times against the court after one point, drawing boos from the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd and a code violation from the chair umpire.

A lot of Djokovic’s issues had to do with the No. 2-ranked Medvedev, who used his 6-foot-6 (1.98-metre) frame to chase down everything and respond with seemingly effortless groundstrokes — much the way Djokovic wears down foes — and delivered pinpoint serving.

Djokovic reached his record-equalling 31st Grand Slam final with six victories on the hard courts of Flushing Meadows. But he could not quite get the last one he needed.

He remains tied with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal with 20 major titles.

And the last man to sweep a season’s singles trophies at the Slams remains Rod Laver, who did it twice — in 1962 and 1969 — and was in the stands Sunday. The last woman to accomplish the feat was Steffi Graf in 1988.

Instead, Djokovic joins Jack Crawford in 1933 and Lew Hoad in 1956 as men who won a year’s first trio of Grand Slam tournaments and made it all the way to the US Open final before losing.

Stosur-Shuai pair clinches US Open women’s doubles title

Shual Zhang, of China, left, and Samatha Stosur, of Australia, hold the championship trophy after defeating Coco Gauff and Catherine McNally, both of the United States, during the women’s doubles final at the US Open tennis championships on Sunday. (PTI)

Samantha Stosur of Australia and Zhang Shuai of China won their 11th straight match to triumph in the US Open women’s doubles final over American teenagers Coco Gauff and Caty McNally at Flushing Meadows on Monday (IST).

The No. 14-seeded Australian-Chinese duo paired up to win their second Grand Slam women’s doubles title as a team with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 win over the 11th-seeded American teenagers.

Stosur and Zhang, who also won the 2019 Australian Open, have won their last 11 matches, as they confirm their standing as the top team on tour at the moment. They came into the US Open having won the title in Cincinnati last month.

Stosur has now claimed four Grand Slam women’s doubles titles, two of which have come in New York. She also won the US Open in 2005 alongside Lisa Raymond, as well as 2006 French Open with Raymond. Stosur also has won three mixed doubles Grand Slam titles.

The 37-year-old Australian’s triumph in doubles this year comes 10 years after she won her only singles major title at the US Open, when she defeated Serena Williams in the 2011 final.

Zhang is now an undefeated 2-0 in major doubles finals, with both her Grand Slam trophies coming alongside Stosur.

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By AP Updated: Sep 13, 2021 9:08:11 pm