Arthur Ashe Stadium announcer Andy Taylor recaps Daniil Medvedev’s triumph over World #1 Novak Djokovic, who was just one victory away from completing the first Calendar Year Grand Slam since 1988, when Steffi Graff won the Calendar “Golden” Slam.
Had Novak won the match, he would have been the first man to win all four Majors in a single season since Rod Laver earned his second Calendar Grand Slam in 1969 (52-years). Not to mention, Novak would have surpassed Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer as the most successful Men’s Major Champion. Instead, the Serbian remains tied with both — at 20 Grand Slam Singles titles.
Despite the loss, Djokovic has reached more US Open Finals (9) than any other man in the Open Era. And he is now tied with Federer at the top of the Men’s Grand Slam Final leaderboard (31).
Daniil Medvedev. Grand Slam Champion
Meanwhile, third time is the charm for Daniil Medvedev, who simply outplayed Novak — as the World #1 was on the cusp of rewriting history. Medvedev earned his first Grand Slam Singles title by dropping only a single set in seven match victories.
Djokovic after the match: “Full credit [to] his mentality [Daniil Medvedev]…He absolutely was the better player and deserved to win, no doubt about it…But it’s sport. You win some, you lose some. It’s a tough loss, very tough loss. But at the same time I’m happy for him because he’s a nice guy and he deserves it. He really does.”
Tears. Relief. Unexpected comfort. The pressure is off.
Needless to say, being so close to becoming the first man to capture the Calendar Grand Slam, the loss was an emotional release for Djokovic – who openly wept during the changeover before Medvedev served-out the match:
“Of course, part of me is very sad. It’s a tough one to swallow, this loss, I mean, considering everything that was on the line. But on the other hand I felt something I never felt in my life here in New York. The crowd made me [feel] very special. They pleasantly surprised me. The amount of support and energy and love I got from the crowd was something that I’ll remember forever. That’s the reason on the changeover I just teared up. The emotion, the energy was so strong. It’s as strong as winning 21 Grand Slams. That’s how I felt, honestly. I felt very, very special.”
Andy Taylor | The Voice of the US Open
Known as the Voice of the US Open, 2021 marks Taylor’s 20th year shaping the sound of the tennis season’s final Grand Slam. With his individual style and delivery, Andy writes and narrates every player’s introduction — highlighting their career accomplishments, providing context for fans before each match. As a voice talent, he also narrates video content and special announcements broadcast across the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. For twenty years, his distinctive sound and energy has helped drive and enhance the fan experience — Informing. Entertaining. Celebrating the sport and its colorful cast of characters.
Ninth meeting. Fourth Medvedev victory. Daniil spoils the party, captures first Major.
 Daniil Medvedev -02- (RUS) | Championship Announcer Introduction
Two years ago, he made his Grand Slam Final debut right here at the US Open – where down 2-sets and a break, he came back to force a deciding-set against Rafael Nadal, in a 5-hour Arthur Ashe Stadium thrill ride. Tonight, he’s back on the sport’s biggest stage, competing in his third Major Final – in pursuit of his first Grand Slam title. Now 14-1 since the start of August, he captured his 4th Masters-1000 title in Toronto, reached the Semi’s in Cincinnati – and here in New York, has lost only a single set en-route to today’s championship match. From Russia, please welcome the #2 player in the world, Daniil Medvedev.
Daniil Medvedev is now 4-5 against Djokovic overall, and 4-2 when Novak is World #1
Medvedev had lost his previous 3 matches vs Top-10 opponents, after earning 12 straight wins vs Top 10 players
- FF — W —  Novak Djokovic -01- (SRB) | Score: 6-4, 6-4, 6-4
- SF — W —  Felix Auger-Aliassime -15- (CAN) | Score: 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 | RECAP / 2:03
- QF — W — [Q] Botic van de Zandschulp -117- (NED) | Score: 6-3, 6-0, 4-6, 7-5 | RECAP / 2:23
- R4 — W —  Daniel Evans -27- (GBR) | Score: 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 | RECAP / 1:43
- R3 — W — Pablo Andujar -74- (ESP) | Score: 6-0, 6-4, 6-3 | ARMSTRONG / 1:56
- R2 — W — Dominik Koepfer -57- (GER) | Score: 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 | RECAP / 1:48
- R1 — W — Richard Gasquet -79- (FRA) | Score: 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 | RECAP / 1:57
 Novak Djokovic -01- (SRB) | Championship Announcer Introduction
He is one of the greatest champions in the history of the sport. (Pause, Reaction) The reigning Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon champion – this afternoon, here on the sport’s biggest stage – he is one victory away from achieving the most difficult accomplishment in tennis: The Calendar Year Grand Slam. And with a triumph tonight, he will surpass both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal – becoming the most successful Men’s Major Champion of all time, with 21 Grand Slam Singles titles. And no other man in the Open Era has reached more US Open Finals. Tonight, he’s packed Arthur Ashe Stadium again, battling for the title here in New York for a 9th time. From Serbia, please welcome 3-time US Open Champion and the #1 player in the world, Novak Djokovic.
Djokovic is now tied with Roger Federer / All-time record 31 Grand Slam Men’s Singles Finals
Top Grand Slam Final totals: (Djokovic 31, Federer 31, Nadal 28, Lendl 19, Sampras 18)
Open Era record 9th US Open Final (Ivan Lendl and Pete Sampras are both 8-time Finalists)
Male Calendar Grand Slam Winners: Rod Laver (1962, 1969) and Don Budge (1938)
Female Calendar Grand Slam Winners: Maureen Connolly (1953), Margaret Court (1970), and Steffi Graff (1988-Golden)
- FF — L —  Daniil Medvedev -02- (RUS) | Score: 4-6, 4-6, 4-6
- SF — W —  Alexander Zverev -04- (GER) | Score: 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 | RECAP / 3:33
- QF — W —  Matteo Berrettini -08- (ITA) | Score: 5-7, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 | RECAP / 3:26
- R4 — W — [WC] Jensen Brooksby -99- (USA) | Score: 1-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 | RECAP / 2:58
- R3 — W — Kei Nishikori -56- (JPN) | Score: 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 | RECAP / 3:32
- R2 — W — Tallon Greikspor -121- (NED) | Score: 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 | RECAP / 1:39
- R1 — W — [Q] Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune -145- (DEN) | Score: 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-2, 6-1 | RECAP / 2:15
US OPEN | Open Era Men’s Singles Champions
DJOKOVIC MILESTONE SNUFFED-OUT BY MEDVEDEV IN 2021 US OPEN FINAL
No man has achieved the Calendar Grand Slam (winning all four Major titles in the same year) since the great Rod Laver accomplished the feat for a second time in 1969. World #1 Novak Djokovic was one victory away from rewriting that history at the 2021 US Open.
A 20-time Grand Slam Champion – Djokovic is the reigning Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon champion. He is one of only 3 men to earn the Career Grand Slam twice (Roy Emerson and Rod Laver). In anticipation of Novak’s milestone, all four Grand Slam trophies were in New York for the fortnight. Medvedev made sure they didn’t make an appearance in the trophy ceremony.
It’s been a tough Summer for the World #1. Last month at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Djokovic was poised to become the first player since Steffi Graf (1988) to earn the Calendar Golden Slam (winning all four Major title and Olympic Gold in the same year). In the Olympic Semifinals, Alexander Zverev erased that possibility with an improbable, come-from-behind victory. Zverev went on to capture the Gold Medal. Novak fell in the Bronze Medal match.
141 YEARS IN THE MAKING: THE 54th US OPEN TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS
The US Open, as we know it today, began in 1881. Four years after the first Wimbledon Championships, members of the Newport Casino in Rhode Island established the U.S. National Singles Championship. Popularity of the sport exploded during the following eight decades. And by 1968, the Open Era began, finally allowing professionals to compete alongside amateurs. Ever since, the sports four Grand Slam tournaments – the Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open – cemented their status as the premiere events in professional tennis. Today, these Major trophies and titles are the pinnacle of career achievement.
GRAND SLAM TENNIS TOURNAMENTS – A LONG AND STORIED HISTORY
First, a quick timeline reflecting the roots of the Grand Slam:
- 1877 – The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club organized the first Wimbledon Championship.
- 1881 – Members of the Newport Casino in Rhode Island (now home of the International Tennis Hall of Fame) created the first U.S. National Singles Championship.
- 1891 – France joined the party. Though the tournament itself was not recognized as a Grand Slam until international participation was allowed in 1925.
- 1905 – Australia’s Major began as the Australasian Championships, earning Grand Slam status by 1924.
THE OPEN ERA BUILDS GRAND SLAM PRESTIGE
For decades, the Grand Slams only showcased amateur competition, the U.S. National Championship included. Prize money was paltry. Professional talents earned a living through traveling tours, rather than tournaments like Grand Slams. Essentially, two or more professionals would travel together from city to city. Competing night after night. Earning money through ticket sales.
Then in 1968, the Open Era began – allowing both amateur and professional athletes in a tournament format. That year, France hosted the first Open, followed by England and the United States. Brisbane hosted Australia’s Open debut the following January. With the sport’s top global talents all converging on the same four annual tournaments, the Grand Slams put themselves in position to grow alongside the popularity of the game.
Today, the US Open is the highest-attended annual sporting event in the world. In 2019, over 720-thousand fans passed through the gates of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. That year, Singles champions earned over $3.8-million, while players who fell in the First Round grossed $60-thousand.
To put that in perspective: In 1968, the inaugural US Open committed $14,000 for the Men’s Singles Champion. When Arthur Ashe won – because he was an amateur – he turned down the prize money. Instead, the legendary humanitarian settled for a $20 per diem. What a difference 54-years makes.
COVID-19 AND THE 2021 US OPEN
Last year, the 2020 US Open was the first Major to return after COVID-19 transformed life as we knew it. No fans. Cavernous, empty stadiums. Separate “bubbles” for players and crew. Regular coronavirus testing. Strict social distancing.
Today, thanks to vaccines and those who’ve chosen to receive them, the gates are open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center — with some specific requirements.
QUICK COURSE CORRECTION BEFORE DAY ONE
Originally, in the months leading up to the 2021 US Open, all fans were welcome (vaccinated and unvaccinated), provided each guest followed CDC guidance based on individual vaccination status. However, on the Friday before the start of main-draw play, the New York City Mayor’s office changed course — instead mandating that all Arthur Ashe Stadium ticket holders provide proof of vaccination.
In response, due to continued concern over COVID’s highly-infectious Delta variant, the USTA extended the Mayor’s mandate to every US Open ticket holder — including those with passes to Louis Armstrong Stadium, the Grandstand, and fans with grounds admission tickets. In other words, to enter the grounds of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis center, all ticket holders 12-years and older must provide proof of at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Acceptable forms of proof include: CDC Vaccination Card (photo/photocopy accepted), NYC Vaccination Record (photo/photocopy accepted), NYC COVID Safe App, Excelsior Pass, or Excelsior Pass Plus.
That said, unlike events held before vaccines were widely available, there are no temperature checks or health questionnaires to complete before entering the grounds. Additionally, negative COVID tests are not required to get on site. Simply put, each guest must be vaccinated.
COVID’s grip continues, as we navigate an uncertain landscape full of both vaccinated and unvaccinated tennis fans. Responsibly, the USTA is relying on the guidance of the CDC, the New York City Mayor’s Office, and the New York City Department of Health to hopefully ensure a safe and healthy experience for all.