Novak Djokovic has bad news for Carlos Alcaraz, Daniil Medvedev and all other Grand Slam contenders: “I will continue.”
Djokovic secured his record 24th Grand Slam title when he beat Medvedev in three grueling sets to win the US Open.
The 36-year-old capped another dominant year in which he won the Australian Open and French Open and finished runner-up to Alcaraz at Wimbledon by becoming the oldest champion at Flushing Meadows in the Open era.
Even Medvedev, whose challenge ended after he lost a marathon 104-minute second set, asked, “What are you still doing here?” I mean, come on.”
But Djokovic insisted: “I will continue. You know, I feel good in my own body. I still feel like I have the support of my environment, my team, my family.
“The Grand Slams, as I have always said in recent years, have always been my highest goal and my priority throughout the season. Compared to other tournaments, I don’t play as often, so I try to prioritize my preparation so that I can perform at my best in Slams.
“These are the moments and these are the emotions that motivate me every day when I’m not playing in a tournament.
“Yes, sometimes I ask myself: Why do I need this now, after everything I’ve done? How much longer do I want to continue?’ Of course I have these questions in my head.
“But knowing that I’m still playing at such a high level and winning the biggest tournaments in this sport, I don’t want to leave this sport if I’m still at the top, you know, if I’m still playing that way “How I play.”
A double fault from Medvedev and a brilliant backhand winner down the line gave Djokovic the early break point, which he converted into Love and then secured the first set in a relatively quick 48 minutes.
But Medvedev, coming back about a quarter of a mile from the baseline, gave Djokovic trouble in the second set, and that became noticeable as the favorite showed signs of fatigue.
He scored his first break point of the match after an hour and three quarters, but Djokovic skillfully parried it with a big serve and a flawless volley, clearly changing his game plan to shorten the points.
Medvedev had scored the point after Djokovic’s serve, but another volley at the net canceled that out, and when the 27-year-old missed the tie-break, the match soon followed, with Djokovic drawing level with Margaret Court’s record for major titles.
“The second set was the best set I played and I didn’t win it,” said third-seeded Russian Medvedev.
“That’s why it’s normal that the game went like that, because in the first and third games he was somehow better. Secondly, if I had won it, maybe it could have been a different game.
“Yes, that’s life and that’s tennis. That’s why I’ll try to be better next time.”