Novak Djokovic missed out on the Calendar Slam as he lost 4-6, 4-6, 4-6 to Daniil Medvedev in the final of the 2021 US Open on Sunday. Djokovic's disappointment was starkly evident after the match, and he said during his post-match presser that he was unsure whether he'd play another match in the rest of the season.
The Serb was on a 27-match winning streak at Majors and was vying to win the 21st Major of his career, which would have made him the leader of the all-time Slam race. But Medvedev put paid to those hopes with a stellar, nearly flawless performance.
Speaking to members of the Serbian media after the final, Novak Djokovic refused to commit to anything regarding the rest of his 2021 schedule. The 34-year-old is entered to play Indian Wells next month and has already qualified for the ATP Finals in November, but it now seems possible he will skip both tournaments.
"Let me tell you - I have no plan, absolutely nothing," Novak Djokovic was quoted as saying by Sportklub. "I don't know if I'm going to play anything, anywhere… I'm just here in New York right now."
Novak Djokovic trailed Daniil Medvedev from start to finish in his 31st Major final, and gave up four breaks of serve. The World No. 1 claimed during his presser that despite trying everything in his power to win, he simply came up against "the better player".
"I think that I really tried to do everything in my power to prepare in the best possible way, to bring myself to the optimal state of body, mind, and spirit," the Serb replied when asked whether he could have done anything differently in the final. "I really don't know what I would change, I really did my best… I simply played against a better player today - who had more enthusiasm and energy."
Djokovic further claimed he didn't have "the fuel" left in him after a long summer season that was both mentally and physically taxing.
"Unfortunately, I was not the freshest in my legs, I was running out of 'fuel' - and those are the nuances that decide," the World No. 1 said.
Novak Djokovic won both Roland Garros and Wimbledon in the space of two weeks, and played the Tokyo Olympics shortly after that. But he came fourth in both the singles and mixed doubles events at the Games, and arrived in New York without playing a tune-up event.
"There remains regret for the match, but also gratitude and pride" - Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic managed only one break of serve in the final - when he was 2-5 down in the third set. The Serb admitted in his presser that he was slow on his return, which played a crucial role against a great server like Daniil Medvedev.
"I felt that I was slower and that I was missing half a step - especially on my return, which is one of my most important shots - with the indisputable fact that he served great today. This made my work even more difficult," Djokovic said.
The World No. 1 also acknowledged he had regrets about his performance, before expressing pride over his run in New York despite his subpar physical conditioning.
"In the end, there remains that regret for this match - but, on the other hand, also gratitude and pride for everything that has been done here," he said.