Novak Djokovic came up short in his bid to win all four major titles in 2021 for the first Grand Slam in men's tennis since 1969. No. 2 Daniil Medvedev beat Djokovic, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4, to secure the 2021 U.S. Open, the first major title of his career.
The 20-time major champion only broke the younger Russian's serve once in the straight sets loss. Djokovic had lost the first set in three straight matches coming into Sunday, only to come back for fairly routine wins. Against Medvedev, who had spent far less time on court throughout the tournament, it was a different story. Djokovic quickly became frustrated in the second set and received a code violation for smacking his racket on the court after missing a return.
Up two sets to one, Medvedev broke Djokovic's serve twice in the third set and held on for the victory despite double-faulting on his first championship point.
The final was a rematch of the Australian Open in February, where Djokovic began his calendar-year Grand Slam bid by defeating Medvedev in straight sets. Djokovic went on to win the French Open, including a semifinal victory over 13-time Roland Garros champ Rafael Nadal, and Wimbledon earlier this summer.
Rod Laver, who was in attendance at Flushing Meadows on Sunday, was the last man to complete a Grand Slam, winning all four titles back in 1969. Djokovic was seeking to become the first player since Steffi Graf in 1988 to achieve the feat.
Djokovic's loss leaves him still tied with longtime rivals Roger Federer and Nadal: Each of them has won 20 majors to date.