The 2021 US Open had one of the most unexpected finishes in recent Slam memory. World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev ended up claiming his maiden Major title, denying 20-time Slam champion Novak Djokovic the chance to create history.
But while Medvedev got the job done in straight sets, the match wasn't easy for his parents to get through. Facing the Serb in a Slam final is one of the biggest challenges in tennis, so Medvedev's family were under a lot of stress as their son stood on the brink of Grand Slam glory.
In an interview with Igor Rabiner of the Russian publication Sport Express, the 25-year-old's father Sergei Medvedev described the emotions he felt throughout the US Open fortnight. Medvedev Sr. revealed that his smart watch showed fluctuations in his ECG over the two weeks.
"Thank you for your congratulations and support!" Sergei Medvedev told Rabiner. "You remember and know how difficult it is to turn your son into a son of the whole of Russia. These two weeks were as if somewhere far away, as if on a business trip. Apple watches have shown atrial fibrillation on an ECG for many days."
Medvedev Sr. went on to admit that he didn't watch the match so that he could avoid facing all the tension. But that didn't help matters much as the surge of emotions after the win resulted in arrhythmia and an appointment with his cardiologist.
"Was surprisingly calm last night," Medvedev Sr. said. "I didn't watch the match. During the match, I lay with my eyes closed and counted to myself to 600. And so again and again, until my wife came in and said: 'Let's kiss'."
"I hardly slept at night," he added. "And now in the morning I feel arrhythmia again. Today I have a cardiologist at 13.30. This is how success and victories come to the parents of a champion. "
Daniil Medvedev himself didn't feel the pressure going into the final
While Daniil Medvedev's father was under a lot of stress, the ATP Finals champion himself didn't feel too nervous ahead of the third Slam final of his career. Medvedev took to watching F1 and football one day before the match, and it worked beautifully for him.
"Switching away from tennis helps me," Medvedev told Eurosport Russia after his win. "Today was the day of the final. It seemed like I could have gotten up at 7 am and only been thinking, 'What should I do? What should I do? How to win it?'"
"But I watched Formula 1 - Verstappen and Hamilton, that unreal crash," he added. "I got into Formula 1 three years ago and hardly miss any races. Then I watched Leeds vs Liverpool. There I had Trent (Alexander-Arnold who is on Medvedev's fantasy team) assisting, Raphinha doing nothing."