NEW YORK — Novak Djokovic emerged from an exhilarating and exhausting US Open final with a 24th Grand Slam title on Sunday night, using every ounce of his energy and some serve-and-volley guile to get past Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3 in a match that was more closely contested than the straight-set score indicated.
Djokovic, a 36-year-old from Serbia, moved one major singles title in front of Serena Williams to become the first player to win 24 in the Open era, which began in 1968. Margaret Court also collected a total of 24, but 13 of those came before professionals were admitted to the Slam events.
There were moments, particularly in the 1-hour, 44-minute second set that was as much about tenacity as talent, when Djokovic appeared to be faltering. After some of the most grueling points — and there were many — he would lean over with hands on knees or use his racket for support or pause to stretch his legs.
A year after missing the US Open because of the United States’ restrictions on travelers not vaccinated against COVID-19, Djokovic secured his fourth title in New York by defeating the No. 3-seeded Medvedev in a rematch of their 2021 final at Flushing Meadows, which Medvedev won in straight sets to deny Djokovic what would have been the first calendar-year Grand Slam in men’s tennis since 1969.
For the third time in his career, Djokovic made it to the finals of all four majors, and adds to his victories at the Australian Open in January and French Open in June. He lost in the Wimbledon final to Carlos Alcaraz, whom he will replace at No. 1 this week.
Medvedev, a 27-year-old from Russia, was appearing in his third US Open final in five years and his fifth major title match in all. The 2021 US Open remains his lone Grand Slam win.
The match was played with the roof closed at Arthur Ashe Stadium because of the potential for bad weather.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.