Novak Djokovic Wins The US Open And A 24th Grand Slam Title

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Then came the embraces with the rest of his family in the stands. When he returned to the court, he swapped out his sweaty kit for a shirt with a picture of him and Kobe Bryant, his sports hero, friend, and sometimes mentor, whose jersey number was 24 when he ended his N.B.A. career. That number was on the back of Djokovic’s shirt.

“It is a pity about Wimbledon, couple of points either way,” said his coach, Goran Ivanisevic, lamenting Djokovic’s lone loss in 28 Grand Slam matches this year, in five sets to Alcaraz in July. Ivanisevic said he and Djokovic never talked about that loss after that day. “That’s what makes him great.”

Days before this tournament, Djokovic reflected on the heartbreaking but heartwarming day two years ago when Medvedev stopped him one match shy of perhaps the ultimate tennis achievement. He still felt the warmth from the New York crowd that had finally taken to him.

“They love sport and they also love when they are experiencing something special,” he said. “They genuinely backed me up and wanted me to win and wanted me to make history.”

In retrospect, he said, he buckled under the weight of that, as he has rarely done.

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This time around, Djokovic prohibited his family from mentioning anything about history, opting to keep this match as simple and as clear as it could be.

The New York fans had to wait two years to see it, but on Sunday they finally did. Chances are they may see it again.

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