After an intense two weeks at the US Open in Queens, NY, the matches have ended.
For the Men’s final, Novak Djokovic once again proved his ranking in the tennis world by winning the US Open.
The victory marks his 24th major championship, tying him with Margaret Court, who won a title of 64 major titles in between taking breaks and having kids. Djokovic is also creeping up on Serena Williams‘ legendary status as the win means he now has one more major singles title than her, making him the first to 24 wins in the Open Era, which began in 1968.
In his historic match, Djokovic took on a former world No. 1 Russian, Daniil Medvedev, and beat him in all three sets, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3, though the second proved to be a bit tougher.
The 36-year-old Serbian was also pleasantly surprised by the win as he’s the oldest male champion and noted all the accolades he’s racked up while playing professionally for 20 years.
“I never imagined that I would be here standing with you talking about 24 Slams. I never thought that would be the reality,” Djokovic told ESPN. “But the last couple of years, I felt I have a chance, I have a shot for history, and why not grab it if it’s presented?”
He bursted into tears as he won his fourth Open in Arthur Ashe Stadium and collapsed onto the court following the match, which lasted more than three hours. After taking it all in, his first stop was to hug his daughter, who he later explained provided him with some much-needed motivation mid-match.
I was watching her the entire match. She showed me the fist pump,” he said of his 6-year-old daughter Tara. “She is only 6 years old, and in exactly the moments when I needed to have this playfulness and this joy and to relax a little bit in high stress – particularly in the second set – she looked at me, and she gave me this energy.”
While celebrating, Djokovic also took the time to celebrate another GOAT, Kobe Bryant, who passed away in a helicopter incident alongside his daughter Giana and seven others in January 2020.
He took off his shirt and put on a t-shirt that read Mamba Forever with a photo of the two of them in the center.
“Kobe was a close friend. We chatted a lot about the winner’s mentality when I was struggling with injury and trying to make my comeback, work my way back to the top of the game. He was one of the people that I relied on the most,” Djokovic said, adding that he came up with the idea a week ago.
“He was always there for any kind of counsel, advice, any kind of support in the most friendly way,” he continued. “So, of course, what happened a few years ago and him and his daughter passing hurt me deeply, and I thought 24 is the jersey he wore when he became a legend of the Lakers and world basketball, so I thought it could be a nice, symbolic thing to acknowledge him for all the things he’s done.”
See how social media is reacting to Djokovic’s historic win below.
Novak Djokovic Celebrates Historic US Open Win By Paying Tribute To Kobe Bryant was originally published on cassiuslife.com