Highlights from an Unexpected Men’s Tournament: US Open 2023

In a historic match, Novak Djokovic triumphed at the US Open, securing his fourth title at the tournament and his 24th Grand Slam victory. By achieving this milestone, Djokovic tied with Australian Margaret Court for the most major victories in the history of the sport.

The 36-year-old Serbian now stands alone with the most singles titles in the Open era, surpassing Serena Williams. During the on-court trophy presentation, Djokovic expressed his gratitude and said, “To make the history of this sport is something truly remarkable and special in every possible way.”

Two years ago, Djokovic suffered a defeat in the US Open final against Daniil Medvedev, who ended his hopes of achieving the calendar Grand Slam. However, this time Djokovic was in exceptional form, winning his third Grand Slam title of the year. The only tournament he lost in this season was the Wimbledon final to Carlos Alcaraz.

Reflecting on his journey to the top, Djokovic said, “I had the childhood dream at 7 or 8 to become the best and win the Wimbledon trophy. Then I started to dream new dreams and set new goals, but I never imagined I would be talking about 24 Slams.”

While Djokovic’s victory dominated the headlines, there were several other highlights throughout the men’s draw at the US Open. Let’s take a look at the key moments from each round.

In the first round, former world No. 3 and 2020 US Open champion Dominic Thiem made a triumphant return after a long struggle with a wrist injury. This win marked Thiem’s first Grand Slam victory in two and a half years, and he acknowledged the support he received from the crowd.

The second round witnessed an emotional retirement announcement from John Isner. The 38-year-old American, known for his powerful serves, took the court for the final singles match of his career. Isner fought hard but ultimately lost in a five-set thriller against compatriot Michael Mmoh.

The third round showcased Djokovic’s resilience as he overcame a two-set deficit against Laslo Djere. Knowing that a win would bring him closer to Margaret Court’s record, Djokovic dug deep to secure a four-hour, five-set victory. This hard-fought win sent a strong message to his competitors, as Djokovic declared, “I’m still able to play five sets deep at night.”

The fourth round featured a marathon match between Alexander Zverev and Jannik Sinner. Zverev, who had been sidelined for eight months due to an ankle injury, battled for four hours and 41 minutes to secure a late-night victory. The match was briefly interrupted when a fan yelled an offensive remark, but play resumed and Zverev expressed his joy in playing in front of a passionate crowd.

In the quarterfinals, unranked Ben Shelton caused an upset by defeating Frances Tiafoe. Shelton’s powerful serves and his thrilling three-set tiebreaker captured the attention of spectators. With this win, Shelton became the last American man standing in the singles draw, proving his potential for the future.

The semifinals saw an unexpected finalist emerge in Daniil Medvedev. The Russian defeated Carlos Alcaraz, who had previously defeated him twice this year. Medvedev showcased his skills and consistency to secure a spot in the final.

Despite the remarkable performances from these players, Novak Djokovic proved to be unstoppable in the end. With his unwavering determination and incredible talent, he etched his name further into tennis history, solidifying his status as one of the greatest players of all time.

The 2023 US Open will be remembered as a tournament filled with thrilling matches, unexpected twists, and the crowning of a new record holder. As Djokovic continues his dominance, the tennis world eagerly awaits the next chapter in his extraordinary journey.