US Open 2021 - 'Simply inhuman' - Dominic Thiem on 'tension Novak Djokovic was under' against Daniil Medvedev
"Medvedev didn't care about all that," Dominic Thiem told Eurosport, referring to the much-hyped calendar Grand Slam for Novak Djokovic. "He played sensationally from the beginning to the end. On the other hand, you could see the tension Novak Djokovic was under. We saw what was going on inside him; also what he had accumulated in the last weeks and months. That is simply inhuman."
'Medvedev was too smart for Djokovic' - Wilander and Corretja break down US Open final
Novak Djokovic saw his dream of a 21st major title and the calendar Grand Slam fade away as Daniil Medvedev produced a stunning performance to win the US Open, and Eurosport's experts, including Dominic Thiem, have reacted to the final.
Medvedev was utterly imperious as he stormed to a straight-sets, 6-4 6-4 6-4, victory inside a raucous Arthur Ashe Stadium, while Djokovic was left unable to follow his triumphs at the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon earlier in the year.
The world number one was flat and devoid of his usual spark throughout as he failed to claim the 21st Grand Slam title which would have taken him past the tallies of his great rivals, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
But Medvedev deserves all the credit after the number two seed held his composure and irresistible level of play until the very end to secure his first Grand Slam title and follow Marat Safin as a Russian men's singles champion in New York.
The Serb was left very emotional as the supportive crowd willed him to recover in the final stages, and he was visibly tearful both at the end of the match and when thanking the fans in his post-match speech. Thiem said the pressure on Djokovic was very clear.
"Medvedev didn't care about all that," Thiem told Eurosport, referring to the much-hyped calendar Grand Slam. "He played sensationally from the beginning to the end, didn't do anything stupid the whole match and, on top of that, he shot winners right and left.
"In addition, he served really well against the best return player. He completely deserved to win it. With the early break in the first set, he immediately got the momentum on his side and then played at a consistently really, really high level.
"On the other hand, you could see the tension Novak Djokovic was under - especially at the last exchange, where he was in tears.
We saw what was going on inside him; also what he had accumulated in the last weeks and months. That is simply inhuman.
"I don't know him that well, but I think he has a really good heart and has deserved the love of the whole audience here. We don't need to talk about his sporting achievements anyway."
Daniil Medvedev and Novak Djokovic after the US Open final
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Boris Becker, who used to coach Djokovic, told Eurosport: "Daniil Medvedev deserved to win today; deserved to win the tournament. He was the best player over these two weeks and only lost one set in total on the way to his first Grand Slam.
"For Novak Djokovic, it was one match too many today. He was mentally not able to control his emotions. He wanted to make history. He wanted to become the most successful Grand Slam player of all time.
He didn't want to become one of the best - he wanted to become the best, and he would have underlined that with a victory here today. I have never seen Novak so clueless.
"I am convinced that Daniil will win more Grand Slam tournaments. For me, he is the most ready of the young generation. He knows how to win matches; he knows how to prepare for the big matches. You have to beat him then because he doesn't get hectic or nervous. He's one step ahead of [Stefanos] Tsitsipas or [Alexander] Zverev there."
Novak Djokovic rompió a llorar en plena final del US Open 2021
Image credit: Getty Images
Mischa Zverev added his thoughts for Eurosport: "In the end, he [Djokovic] is human because I think it’s the first time I’ve seen him cry on a tennis court. It doesn’t matter if you’ve won or lost, he is usually a man of steel.
"He is so focused, like a machine, but we saw today he is human. He didn’t win today, but I think he won the hearts of the New Yorkers, that’s for sure.
"Medvedev came out and really tried to slow down the game with his backhand and then sting like a scorpion with his forehand. So, he had a game plan and did really, really well. He was so focused and determined and his game plan worked out perfectly, Novak wasn’t sure what to do.”
Another Eurosport expert, Alex Corretja, added: "Today, he [Medvedev] went out thinking, 'it’s my day,' and that’s why I believe he won it.
"Daniil was so focused, so precise. When you play against someone like Novak, you just can’t lose any serves. The accuracy and placement were just perfect. That was one of the keys. In the first game Novak was broken, it was totally unexpected, and from then on everything changed.”