Sporting Life

On a tearful night, Djokovic loses a final but wins a crowd's affection

Novak Djokovic holds his trophy after losing the 2021 US Open final match to Daniil Medvedev, on Sept 12, 2021.PHOTO: AFP

Tennis' toughest man got his heart broken in public, his dream battered, his chance at a rare feat snatched away and he met all this with an arm around his victor's shoulders, gracious words and tears. Novak Djokovic is always memorable.

He lost the US Open final to Daniil Medvedev in three strange, straight sets 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 and in a flurry of 38 unforced errors the Grand Slam had slipped away. History's weighty door needed one final kick to open but after 27 consecutive Grand Slam wins, he tripped on the 28th. In his last major match of 2021, he was his least imposing self.

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