In the US Open 2021 men’s final on Sunday, Daniil Medvedev overcame world No. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to win his first major title and end Djokovic’s quest for winning the calendar slam this year.
During the nervy final moments of the clash, Medvedev was serving for the championship point in the ninth game in the third set, when things started to go south for the 25-year-old as the crowd wouldn’t stop the jeers and boos while he served.
Although he initially struggled to hit the kill switch, Medvedev held on to the nerves to come back and win the next game and the championship in turn.
Born in Moscow, Russia in February 1996, Medvedev was nine years old when he started taking tennis lessons. Medvedev studied physics and math at a specialized school before graduating early and enrolling in economics and commerce at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. However, he later dropped out to focus on tennis.
At the 2015 Kremlin Cup, Medvedev made his ATP main draw debut in the doubles tournament, partnering with Aslan Karatsev. In the first round, they overcame Aliaksandr Bury and Denis Istomin, but in the second round, Radu Albot and Frantiek Ermák defeated them.
The Russian achieved his first ATP singles final in January 2017. He lost in two sets to Roberto Bautista Agut in the final of the Chennai Open. As a consequence, Medvedev rose 34 spots in the ATP rankings, from 99 to 65, a new career-best. In February, he maintained his strong form by reaching the quarterfinals of the Open Sud de France and the Open 13, where he was defeated by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Lucas Pouille, respectively.
Medvedev qualified for the Sydney International to begin the 2018 season. He advanced to the final, where he defeated Australian Alex de Minaur to win his first ATP title.
In 2019, Medvedev suffered a major heartbreak when he reached the US Open final, only to lose it to Rafael Nadal in the fifth set.
Ahead of their Sunday clash, Medvedev met Djokovic in his second Grand Slam final at the Australian Open, where he was beaten in straight sets in the final by the eight-time winner.